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Page last updated at 09:09 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 10:09 UK

Eyewitness: 'I saw the attackers'

Aamir Shazad runs a construction site close to the police training academy that was seized by armed gunmen near the Pakistani city of Lahore.

He was at the scene when the attackers entered and opened fire, and describes to the BBC what he saw as the attacks unfolded.


TV grab from NDTV of soldier with a gun (30 march)
I saw a white pick-up van and I saw four or five men with large hiking bags leaving the pick-up, which moved away immediately.

They did not enter through the main gate. They jumped over the wall and then I heard firing and fighting and blasts - they must have taken arms out of their bags .

It took just three or four minutes before I heard all that.

I was in the front of the main gate. I stopped and watched. I realised the situation was very critical and I called the police just a few minutes later.

They said to me: "We know it, we know it."

I also told the police about the van. I could not chase that van. I was on my motorbike but when that happened I was on foot.

My exact location was that I was on the GT [Grand Trunk] road going to my construction site in front of the main entrance of the academy. I didn't see anything that happened inside the compound.

'Attackers looked young'

I saw how they were dressed. They were wearing shalwar kameez, public dress. But one was in a blue track suit and another other was in a white shalwar kameez. They looked no different from the public.

They were just entering the place commando-style. They did not enter from the main gate. The wall is not so high. So they jumped

Their hair was like the hair of a youngster with a short hair cut. They looked young and in good health to me. I would say that they looked Punjabi to me.

They were just entering the place commando-style. They did not enter from the main gate. The wall is not so high. So they jumped from one side.

I was there for one or two hours so I heard a lot. It was very dangerous. But the firing was not coming towards us at that time. Many people were standing there outside the academy without any fear. So I also was without any fear.

I was only on one side, I only saw what was happening from the main entrance. I was standing there observing the whole scenario. But in my opinion, the attack could have happened from three sides.

Little security

I know that building very well. At the back it is very easy to enter. There is not so much security - only four or five policemen on the front gate. But from the one side there are some houses and at the back there is a village. They could have entered on other sides too. I just saw this side.

The security forces came but they were very late. The rest of the police came about 30 minutes later. They were too late. I was there at 0720 [local time, 0220GMT] and that was when the firing started.

It was really terrible. It felt like a Hollywood film, because I heard three or four blasts. I know the area really well and between 0700 and 0800 the cadres have their parade.

After the firing, many training cadres left the school immediately. They were running away from the premises.

I am now close to home. I left the area and there was a curfew imposed.




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