The five co-ordinated assaults marked the 11th day of violence by Pakistani terrorists who have vowed to avenge the death of former Tehrik-e-Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, and strike back against a planned military operation in their northwest stronghold of South Waziristan.
Two of the police buildings attacked yesterday were targeted in previous terror strikes this year, underscoring the weakness of a Pakistani police force under-trained and under-resourced to deal with a militant insurgency. The attackers were reportedly disguised in police and militia uniforms. They were armed with machineguns, hand grenades and suicide belts.
The third attack targeted the Bedian Elite Police Training Centre, near Lahore's international airport.
Five attackers, including at least one teenager, scaled the back wall of the commando academy at Bedian, sparking a siege that dragged on nearly four hours before the army announced it was in full control.
Police officer Mohammad Azfar said one young gunman was shot in the head, and eight grenades were found on his body. "He was 15, 16 years old. He could not detonate his (suicide) jacket," Mr Azfar said.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the country was facing a new war. "They are involved in guerilla war. First they were active in NWFP (North West Frontier Province), now they are engaged in Punjab.
They are terrorists paid to destabilise Pakistan," he said. "The whole nation should be united against this handful of terrorists and, God willing, we will defeat them."
Yesterday's carnage follows a string of attacks claimed by Tehrik-e-Taliban militants over the past 11 days that have killed at least 137 people.
At least 52 civilians were killed last Friday when a suicide bomber rammed his car into a market in Peshawar, capital of the NWFP.
The following day, Taliban-linked gunmen staged the brazen attack on army headquarters near Islamabad. About 23 people were killed in the commando operation to free 39 hostages.
Source: The Austraian