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Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:5AM
Pakistani policemen walk past a gas station torched in a violent protest in Punjab Province. (File photo)

Pakistani policemen walk past a gas station torched in a violent protest in Punjab Province. (File photo)

Eight were martyred and nine others are wounded." Lahore police Chief Aslam Tareen
Gunmen have shot dead at least eight Pakistani police and prison staff in Lahore, the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab, police say. The assailants, arriving on motorbikes, stormed a building in the densely populated area of Ichra early Thursday morning, Lahore police Chief Aslam Tareen. "Eight were martyred and nine others are wounded," Aslam Tareen said. The gunmen fled and there was no immediate claim of responsibility. It was the second attack in three days on security personnel in the province of Punjab. On Monday, gunmen opened fire on security forces at an army camp less than 150 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Islamabad, leaving seven personnel dead. Just hours before Monday's attack, thousands passed through the area on a "long march" from Lahore to Islamabad to protest against the government's decision to reopen US-led NATO supply routes. The demonstrators gathered outside the Pakistani parliament on Monday and chanted "Death to the USA" and other anti-US slogans. The protest march was organized by the Defense of Pakistan Council (DPC), an alliance of 40 religious groups and political parties. Islamabad closed the border crossings used to transfer NATO supplies to Afghanistan in November 2011, after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in US-led airstrikes on two checkpoints at the Afghan border. On July 3, Islamabad agreed to reopen the border crossings after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was “sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military.” MSH/JR
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