Monday, June 22, 2009

T20 celebrations in Karachi - 2 killed, 25 injured

* 10-year-old boy among those killed by aerial firing
* Some of those wounded in critical condition

KARACHI: Two people were killed and 25 injured amid celebrations that started after the Pakistan cricket team defeated Sri Lanka in the ICC World T20 World Cup on Sunday.

Ten-year-old Subhan and 35-year-old Dhani Buksh were killed by aerial firing in Liaquatabad and Gulistan-e-Jauhar areas.

Eleven of those injured were taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, nine to Civil Hospital Karachi and the remaining to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. Some of the injured are in critical condition. Karachi erupted in celebration after the national cricket team beat Sri Lanka at Lord’s, with people dancing in the streets late into the night – having watched the match on big screens set up in parks and stadiums across the country. As Pakistan scored the winning run with Shahid Afridi at the crease, people danced with joy, lit firecrackers and celebrated by distributing sweets.

“We are proud of our team, as they gave us a rare moment of joy,” said Suleman Siddiqui, who watched the match at a stadium in Karachi. Former captain Ramiz Raja said the win would help lift the gloom besetting the country.

“This is the greatest moment in Pakistan cricket, greater than 1992 because people (are now) in gloom and previously had nothing to cheer about,” said Ramiz, a member of the 1992 team that beat England in the Melbourne final.

“We lost so many people in blasts recently. The military is fighting a war in Swat, but we forgot all the gloom with this cricket win,” Abdullah Khan told a local television channel after the win.

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