By Elizabeth Gorrie
Fourteen people have died and nearly one hundred injured after an eight hour siege by gunmen on a police academy in Lahore, Pakistan.
It is being reported that Pakistani police forces have recaptured the building following an eight hour stand-off which saw the exchange of heavy gunfire between the two groups. Military helicopters were later brought in to help diffuse the situation by firing directly on the gunmen. Officials have confirmed that eight policemen are among the dead.
Speaking to the BBC,Pakistan’s Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik believes this was a “planned, organised, terrorist attack”.
The siege began around 7am UK time when gunmen, disguised in police uniform, took the academy by force using rifles and grenades. Around seven hundred trainee officers are thought to have been in the building at the time, many of whom were taken hostage by the gunmen. Eye-witnesses claim there were a series of loud explosions during the siege.
There are unconfirmed reports that the Taliban may have been behind this attack.
Former head of Pakistan’s police academy, Afzal Ali told the Guardian: “We are at a state of war. This was a relatively soft target. You can’t expect recruits to take on hardened terrorists.”
Today’s attack comes less than one month after the attack on Sri Lanka’s cricket team in Lahore which resulted in the deaths of seven people.