"The attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan's cultural capital, Lahore, bears all the hallmarks of the terrorists behind the Mumbai offensive, the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba," The Guardian reported. "Twelve men carrying machine guns leapt out of rickshaws, carrying rocket launchers and wearing backpacks. They proceeded to spray bullets into the cricketing convoy which was en route to the city's Gaddafi stadium. "It was an audacious commando-style attack and, like the tragedy in Mumbai, planned to cause bloody mayhem and grab headlines. Not since the Munich Olympics have athletes and sportspeople been specifically targeted." In an editorial, The Financial Times said: "Tuesday's terrorist ambush of the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore is a double body blow to Pakistan, a country that is already reeling. "The attack targets the sport that is the secular religion that unites the otherwise fissiparous Indian subcontinent. It also enlarges the deadly reach of the violence tearing Pakistan apart - to the Punjabi capital of Lahore, so far largely spared. "It is hard to overstate the position of cricket in regional life. Almost anywhere you look in south Asia - beside a gorge in Kashmir, down a slum alley in Mumbai or on the beach at Galle near Colombo - a game is going on, even if it is with a piece of wood and a rag ball. In times of relative detente, it enables the arch-rivals of the subcontinent, India and Pakistan, to continue warring by other means." Time magazine noted: "Throughout Wednesday, the crowd grew steadily thicker by Lahore's makeshift memorial to those killed in the previous day's terror attack on Sri Lanka's cricketers. Near the edge of the grassy roundabout in Liberty Square where gunmen attacked the tourists' bus, activists, lawyers, policemen and ordinary citizens arrived to lay flowers by a sign saluting the bravery of Tanveer Iqbal, one of the six Pakistani policemen slain in the raid. Some raised their cupped hands in prayer, others solemnly held up candles. A large banner expressed solidarity with the 'heroes of Sri Lanka'. "Similar gatherings have taken place in this eastern city over recent months to protest against the suicide bombings nearby, and against the Taliban's torching of girls' schools in the Swat valley. But on this occasion, the terrorists had, in some people's minds, struck deeper, targeting a sport widely cherished as a second religion, and violating a national code of hospitality." The Times reported: "Chris Broad, the English cricket referee caught in the middle of the Lahore terror attack, railed against the Pakistani authorities today for leaving players and match officials as 'sitting ducks' because of poor security. "Six players and a British assistant coach were hurt in yesterday's attack, which also left six Pakistani policemen and two civilians dead. "Looking exhausted, the former England opening batsman told a press conference shortly after arriving at Manchester Airport that he had an inkling there may be trouble during the Test series and had been assured by high ranking officials that they would be afforded 'presidential-style' security." Reuters said: "The dwindling number of foreign investors left in Pakistan must wonder whether it's worth it after militants targeted the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. " 'No legal return on capital is compelling enough to risk your life,' said Asad Iqbal, director of the Karachi Stock Exchange. "While westerners know they could be targeted any time by militant groups, the attack in Lahore on sportsmen from a country regarded as a friend of Pakistan, has sent a chilling message. " 'The blatant audacity of this attack has shown that no-one is safe any longer in Pakistan,' said Mikaeel Habib, a 31-year-old businessman in the southern city of Karachi. 'It's made me rethink about my future in Pakistan for myself and my family.'"
"Sudan responded with defiance on Wednesday to an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for Omar al Bashir, its president, over accusations he orchestrated a campaign of rape and murder in Darfur," The Financial Times reported. "Khartoum has never recognised the court and a presidential adviser dismissed it as a 'mechanism of neo-colonialist policy'. A presidential spokesman said: 'We do not care about it at all.' " The issuing of an arrest warrant on Wednesday for Sudan's President on charges of war crimes and of crimes against humanity was a landmark for the International Criminal Court, The Times said. "The move - the first by the court based in The Hague against a sitting head of state - brought derision from the object of the warrant himself, Omar al Bashir. He said this week that the tribunal could 'eat' its warrant and that it was not worth the ink it was written with - as he danced for cheering supporters who burnt an effigy of the ICC chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo. "But it was also welcomed widely across the international human rights community and nowhere less than at Waging Peace, www.wagingpeace.info, the small London-based charity that focuses on atrocities in Africa and in particular in Darfur. Rebecca Tinsley, its chairwoman, said that the charity regretted that the court had stopped short of accusing al-Bashir of genocide but it welcomed the ICC's acknowledgement of the role that the Sudanese President had 'played in bringing death and destruction to Darfur'." In an editorial, The Washington Post said the issuing of Mr Bashir's arrest warrant "prompted a predictable blizzard of celebratory statements from human rights groups and other western advocates for the war-torn region of Darfur. What is interesting is that many of those same groups acknowledged that the war crimes charges are unlikely to shake the dictator's hold on power and might lead to a worsening of the situation in Sudan. " 'The more likely outcome is that [Mr Bashir] will remain in power with no prospect of ending up before the ICC anytime soon,' said the International Crisis Group, adding that the regime might react by attacking UN relief personnel or refugee camps in Darfur, declaring a state of emergency or cracking down on its political opposition. Physicians for Human Rights anticipates 'a likely spike in violent attacks'. "It is easy to feel some moral satisfaction when one of the world's most brutal rulers is designated a fugitive from justice. Perhaps the warrant will send a shiver down the spine of Syria's Bashar al-Assad or Burma's Than Shwe. The ICC itself could use a morale boost: Six years after its creation, it has yet to convict a single war criminal and has put only one on trial. But it is hard to imagine much cheer in the camps of Darfur, where a UN peacekeeping force has failed to muster adequate troops or even helicopters and has not been able to provide security; or in southern Sudan, where a fragile peace between the Bashir regime and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement is at the point of collapse." Al Jazeera noted that the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice "issued a statement on Tuesday saying the US 'supports the ICC's actions to hold accountable those responsible for the heinous crimes in Darfur'. " 'The people of Sudan have suffered too much for too long, and an end to their anguish will not come easily. Those who committed atrocities in Sudan, including genocide, should be brought to justice.' "But the US is not a party to the treaty that established the ICC in 2002, because George Bush, Obama's predecessor, saw submission to an international court as a violation of US sovereignty. "So, the US state department danced around questions about whether Washington would help enforce the international arrest warrant."