Australia seeks reply from Pak over lax security

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Melbourne, Mar 6 (ANI): Prime Minister Kevin Rudd wants answers from Pakistan after claims surfaced that Pakistani security forces abandoned travelling Sri Lankan cricketers and Australians umpires during a terrorist attack in Lahore on Tuesday.

Australian officials claimed they were abandoned in their van for some eight minutes in the middle of a gunfight, as security forces transported the Sri Lankan players to safety.

Militants opened fire on the Sri Lankan cricket team's convoy on Tuesday as it headed to Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium for the third day of the second Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

At least eight people, including six police officers, were killed and seven players injured. Five Australians travelling with the team escaped injury.

Rudd said he was aware of reports of security failings during the attack. "And I am unhappy about them," he told Fairfax Radio Network.

Rudd said Australia would seek to find out just what happened from start to finish. "I am sufficiently concerned about what has been said by the Australians that we need an explanation and we intend to get one," The Age quoted him, as saying.

He said there were real problems with terrorism in Pakistan, where the Taliban and al-Qaeda had set up safe havens and were using the country to develop their own networks.

Rudd declined to speculate about what this might mean for the Commonwealth Games 2010 in Delhi.

He said he was engaged in discussions with security agencies and sporting bodies such as Cricket Australia. (ANI)

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