Religion of Peace Fights Bloody Battle in Pakistan
The head fanatic of the Red Mosque in Islamabad has been killed in an assault on the compound by Pakistani special forces: Chief siege cleric killed as rebel mosque falls.
The chief cleric of the radical Red Mosque in Islamabad has been killed after Pakistani special forces launched a bloody assault on his compound.
The body of Abdul Rashid Ghazi, who earlier had predicted that his “martyrdom was certain”, was discovered in a basement this afternoon.
Around fifty of his Islamist followers have also been killed in the offensive to reclaim the mosque, which the Pakistani authorities say is now 90 per cent complete. But hundreds of women and children are thought to be still holed up in underground bunkers, as the last remaining militants mount a desperate defence.
Pakistani commandos stormed the mosque compound before dawn today in an attempt to end an eight-day stand-off between militants and the government. Troops fought house-to-house as they battled their way through the mosque complex as militants and radical students returned fire from among the minarets and debris.
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UPDATE at 7/10/07 8:50:58 am:
Angry Muslims in the nearby city of Battagram showed their displeasure by attacking a Western aid agency:
A man examines the damage at the tented offices of a Western aid agency after it was ransacked by angry protesters in Battagram, 200 km (125 miles) from Islamabad July 10, 2007. The protesters were protesting against an assault by Pakistani forces on the Lal Masjid or Red Mosque. REUTERS/Ibrar Tanoli (PAKISTAN)