Archive for Tuesday, March 31, 2009

12 die in bloody siege at police academy

March 31, 2009

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— Black-clad Pakistani commandos overpowered a group of militants who had seized a police academy, took cadets hostage and killed at least six of them Monday in a dramatic challenge to the civilian government that faces U.S. pressure to defeat Islamic extremists.

The security forces stormed the compound on the outskirts of Lahore to end the eight-hour siege by the grenade-throwing gunmen, with three militants blowing themselves up and authorities arresting four, officials said. At least three other unidentified bodies were recovered.

Pakistan’s top civilian security official said militant groups were “destabilizing the country,” suggesting the plot may have originated with Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.

Meanwhile, a Taliban member claiming to speak on behalf of a shadowy little-known group called the Fedayeen al-Islam said it was behind the attack.

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