Pakistan attacks stop play

ISLAMABAD - International tennis organisers were forced to cancel two junior-level tournaments in Pakistan after a spate of militant attacks in the capital, an official said yesterday.

ISLAMABAD - International tennis organisers were forced to cancel two junior-level tournaments in Pakistan after a spate of militant attacks in the capital, an official said yesterday.

The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) said the International Tennis Federation (ITF) told them of the decision.

"We have been informed by the ITF that two junior-level tournaments have been cancelled due to security fears," secretary Abdul Rasheed told AFP, adding that "some Kenyan players had reached here who will return soon".

The first event was due to start on Monday, in which players from Egypt, Germany, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand were due to compete, said Rasheed.

The second event was to follow a week later.

A series of suicide bombings and attacks have left more than 185 people dead in Pakistan this month, including two army officials killed and a twin suicide attack on a university in the federal capital in 48 hours.

"We received their (ITF) formal letter today, which states that the organisation of these international tournaments was impossible after the attacks," Syed Dilawar Abbas, the PTF president, told AFP.

Pakistan has been a "no go" zone for international sportsmen since the March attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in the eastern city of Lahore left six policemen and two civilians dead and injured seven Sri Lankan squad members.

Major cricket, hockey, squash and tennis events have been cancelled or relocated. Pakistan also had to cancel its National Games. - AFP

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