2009 Lahore police academy attacks

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Lahore police academy attack, 2009
LocationLahore, Pakistan
Coordinates31°35′33″N 74°26′46″E / 31.59250°N 74.44611°E / 31.59250; 74.44611Coordinates: 31°35′33″N 74°26′46″E / 31.59250°N 74.44611°E / 31.59250; 74.44611
Date30 March 2009
07:31 – 15:30 (UTC+05:00)
Attack type
Siege and occupation
Weaponsmachine guns and grenades or rocket propelled grenades
DeathsOne civilian, five police trainees, two instructors, eight militants[1]
No. of participants
DefendersPakistan police cadets & Elite Police force.[2][3]

At 07:31 on 30 March 2009, the Manawan Police Academy in Lahore, Pakistan, was attacked by an estimated 12 gunmen. The perpetrators were armed with automatic weapons and grenades or rockets and some were dressed as policemen. They took over the main building during a morning parade when 750 unarmed police recruits were present on the compound's parade ground. Police forces arrived 90 minutes later and were able to take back the building by 15:30. Five trainees, two instructors and a passer-by were killed. A suspect was captured alive in a field near the school. Three of the attackers blew themselves up to avoid arrest while three others were taken into custody as they tried to escape in police uniforms. The four were taken to undisclosed locations for interrogation by the security forces according to local media.

Initial attacks[edit]

Lahore within Punjab Province, Pakistan

The Manawan Police Academy is a training school of the Pakistan Police located on the outskirts of Lahore.[4] At around 07:30 at least 12 gunmen, some dressed in police uniform, attacked the academy during the morning drill hour when around 750 unarmed police recruits were on parade.[5][6] The gunmen apparently gained access to the site by scaling the perimeter wall before causing three or four explosions on the parade ground, using grenades or rockets, and opening fire with automatic weapons.[6] Several civilians on the road adjacent to the compound were hit by fire from the gunmen apparently when the gunmen attacked a police guard detachment near to a gate.[6]

The academy had only been in a peacetime defensive stance and probably contained just a small armoury of outdated weapons.[6] The attackers proceeded across the parade ground and stormed the academy building, taking hostages from the police trainees and establishing three or four defensive positions including one on the rooftop.[6][7]


Red star depicts the Manawan Police Training School.The vertical line on right is Border with India

Elite Forces of Punjab Police arrived on the site within 90 minutes of the attack and were cheered on by a crowd of spectators.[6] The security forces took up position on rooftops around the compound, firing on the gunmen and sealing off any escape routes.[8] The gunmen returned fire with automatic weaponry and grenades and also shot at a police helicopter.[8] Several hours into the attack security forces used explosives to storm the building and retake it from the gunmen after ten to fifteen minutes of sustained firing, capturing the building by 15:30.[1][4][9] During the course of the attack and siege eight police personnel, two civilians and eight gunmen were killed and 95 people injured.[1] At least four of the gunmen have been captured alive by the security forces.[1]

A curfew was imposed in the area surrounding the academy.[10] Several hundred civilians poured in from close by localities to watch the operation despite the ‘curfew-like’ conditions in the area.[2] Elite forces declared victory signs on completion of the successful operation.[2][3] Punjab Police resorted to aerial firing and chanted slogans of Allahu Akbar after the siege successfully ended and hostages were freed and at least three of the would-be suicide bombers were caught alive.[citation needed]

Claims of responsibility[edit]

Baitullah Mehsud[edit]

The leader of Tehrik-i-Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud took responsibility for the attack. "Yes, we have carried out this attack. I will give details later," Mehsud, an al Qaeda-linked leader based in the Waziristan tribal region told Reuters by telephone.[11] He also said that his next target would be Washington D.C., US.[12]

Mehsud was also accused by the government of Pakistan for carrying out the attack that killed popular Pakistani political leader, Benazir Bhutto in December 2007.[citation needed]

Fedayeen al-Islam[edit]

Fedayeen al-Islam, a previously unknown group, claimed responsibility for the assault and added that it would carry out more attacks unless Pakistani troops withdraw from the tribal areas near the Afghan border and the end of US drone attacks in the country.[13]


A person named Hijratullah, believed to be part of the group of attackers, was apprehended by local citizens when he was seen hiding in the nearby fields at first and then moving slowly towards the rescue helicopters with two grenades in his hand.[14] He was confirmed by authorities as a resident of Paktika province of Afghanistan.[15] Authorities also confirmed later to have arrested 3 more attackers after the Rangers forced them to lay down their arms.[16] Another gunman Hazrat Gull of Miranshah in Waziristan was also arrested.[17] Ten suspects belonging to a religious organisation were arrested from Sukkur.[18] Police also arrested Qari Ishtiaq, who was said to be the commander of the Punjabi Taliban. He was arrested from Bahawalpur on the information provided by the Hijratullah who was jailed for 10 years due to his role.[19] Seven other militants were arrested from different parts of Punjab based on his information.[20]


Pakistan – Pakistan's President, Asif Ali Zardari, and Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, both condemned the attacks.[21]

Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, placed security services on high alert across the country and pointed the finger at extremist groups and hinted Indian involvement.[22] Further he stated that fighters loyal to Baitullah Mehsud were believed to have carried out the attack.[17][23] Rehman Malik said that all these terrorist outfits were receiving weapons and funds from outside the country. He said "Some rival country, or some hostile Intelligence agency is definitely out to destabilise our democratic forces".[12] He said the attack was impeccably planned.[2][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Lahore 'was Pakistan Taleban op'". BBC. 31 March 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d Faisal Ali, Mohammad (30 March 2009). "13 killed, 100 injured as forces recapture Manawan academy". Dawn Tv. Archived from the original on 4 August 2010. Retrieved 31 March 2009.
  3. ^ a b NAWAZ, HAMID (30 March 2009). "Lahore under attack again: 12 dead, 90 injured in bloody siege at police academy, three gunmen captured". Aaj Tv. Retrieved 31 March 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Pakistan police academy attacked". BBC. 30 March 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  5. ^ "Lahore hostage crisis over, all terrorists killed or nabbed". Press Trust of India. 30 March 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2009.[dead link]
  6. ^ a b c d e f "How Pakistan academy attack started". BBC. 30 March 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  7. ^ "Terrorists reportedly at rooftop of training facility". Geo TV. 30 March 2009. Archived from the original on 2 April 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  8. ^ a b Tiwana, Imran; Jehangir, Rana; Hussain, Shahid (30 March 2009). "10 dead in terrorist attack on police academy". Samaa Tv. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  9. ^ "Lahore police academy 'retaken'". BBC. 30 March 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  10. ^ "Curfew imposed in Manawan after attack". AAJ TV. 30 March 2009. Archived from the original on 8 April 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  11. ^ http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/Dawn%20Content%20Library/dawn/news/pakistan/attack-on-police-academy-leaves-8-dead--150-injured--il[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ a b "Minister urges Pakistan to unite:BBC". BBC. 30 March 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2009.
  13. ^ "Pakistan group claims police attack, makes demands". Associated Press. 31 March 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2009.
  14. ^ a b "Arrested terrorist is Afghan national: Rehman". Geo.tv. 30 March 2009. Archived from the original on 29 July 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2009.
  15. ^ "Arrested suspect confirmed to be from Paktika". GEO. 30 March 2009. Archived from the original on 29 July 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  16. ^ "Lahore attackers surrender to Rangers". GEO. 30 March 2009. Archived from the original on 2 April 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  17. ^ a b Pakistan killers captured after second onslaught in Lahore, The Times, 31 March 2009
  18. ^ Shamsi, Waseem (3 April 2009). "Manawan attack suspects held in Sukkur". Dawn.com. Retrieved 3 April 2009.
  19. ^ "Hijrat-Ullah to be jailed for 10 years". Archived from the original on 19 November 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  20. ^ "GHQ siege mastermind captured, claim police". 28 October 2009. Archived from the original on 29 October 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  21. ^ "President, PM condemn attack at police training centre". AAJ TV. 30 March 2009. Archived from the original on 30 March 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  22. ^ "Jihadi outfits, foreign elements could involve in Lahore attack: Malik". Geo TV. 30 March 2009. Archived from the original on 2 April 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  23. ^ Pakistan blames Taliban-allied militants in Lahore attack, The Los Angeles Times, 31 March 2009

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