* Terrorists attack three law-enforcement facilities, kill at least 18
* 10 attackers dead, one ‘manages to escape’
* Sophisticated weapons, grenades, suicide jackets used in raids
* Sanaullah says gunmen had plans for ‘lengthy siege’
* Taliban faction claims responsibility for coordinated assaults
* President, PM condemn attacks
By Rana Tanveer and Anwer Hussain Sumra
LAHORE: The provincial capital came under attack on Thursday as terrorists unleashed coordinated raids on three law-enforcement facilities, killing at least 18 people in fierce fighting, before security forces brought the situation under control.
The three attacks were launched within an hour of each other – starting 9.30am with a raid on the building that houses FIA offices and followed by assaults on the Manawan Police Academy and the Elite Force Training Centre in Bedian.
A TTP faction – the Amjad Farooqi group – has claimed responsibility for the attacks, reported a private TV channel.
The attack on the Bedian facility started when five gunmen scaled the boundary wall, and detonated suicide jackets and grenades.
Elite commando Muhammad Afzal told Daily Times that a security guard fired at the attackers, but the gunmen injured him. He said the security personnel inside the centre “instantly gunned down three of the terrorists”. He said the remaining two attackers took positions inside a residential area, lobbing grenades and firing at security personnel. However, both of them died when explosives strapped to their bodies went off. A civilian and a security personnel died in this attack.
At the Manawan Police Academy, nine police personnel died and 60 were injured when four attackers wearing suicide jackets attacked the compound, targeting policemen on duty. Three of the men blew themselves up, while one was killed by police.
At least three gunmen attacked the FIA building, killing seven people. A witness said the attackers shot dead two security personnel, and entered the premises. FIA personnel inside the compound killed one of the gunmen, while FIA sources said one of the attackers was arrested. AFP reported that one of the gunmen escaped.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the gunmen had originally planned to take people hostage, as evidence suggested “they had plans for a lengthy siege”. The president and the prime minister have condemned the attacks.