18 February 2018

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07/12/2007 PAKISTAN

Operation against ‘Red Mosque’ ends, 83 ‘officially’ dead

According to the government, the two-day operation against the Lal Masjid left 10 soldiers and 73 Islamic extremists dead, including ‘many’ terrorists. Independent sources claim a much higher number of casualties. Al-Qaeda threatens a blood bath to avenge the attack.

Islamabad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The official death toll from the operation launched Monday night by the Pakistani government against the capital’s Lal Masjid or Red Mosque stands at 83. Anonymous sources have said however that the final number remains uncertain as graves are being dug near the place of worship to bury the dead militants.

There are no women among the dead but the armed forces lost ten men. Among the militants many were terrorists, said army spokesman Major General Arshad Wahees.

However, a promised tour of the compound for the media and humanitarian observers was cancelled.

The security forces, which are answerable directly to the president, claimed to have arrested 15 injured militants on Wednesday. But it is not clear where or who they are.

Abdul Rashid Ghazi, the mosque’s spiritual leader who died in the operation, was buried in his native village of Rojhan Mahari after the government prevented his burial from taking place in the capital.

The international community by and large condemned the violence at the mosque but commended Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for his commitment against international terrorism. Afghan Hamid Karzai expressed his unconditional approval of the action.

Many are however concerned about the threats proffered by al-Qaeda’s second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri, who in a videotaped message ordered a holy war against the Pakistani government for its action in Lal Masjid.

In his message directed at Muslims in Pakistan and their religious leaders, al-Zawahiri said that this “crime can only be washed away by repentance or blood.”

See also

11/07/2007 PAKISTAN
Army operation in Red Mosque almost completed
Military action against extremists holed up in the Lal Maslis that began yesterday morning and is almost over. Total casualty figure now stands at 63, including extremists and soldiers as well as Muslim cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi.

04/07/2007 PAKISTAN
Lal Masjid: the mosque that wants to talebanise the country (overview)
It abducts and intimidates; it has even set up its own Sharia court independent of the country’s judiciary; since January Islamabad’s ‘Red Mosque’ is tying down General Musharraf’s government.

19/07/2005 PAKISTAN
Five Taleban leaders arrested in Pakistan
News about the capture was revealed by two security officials. Maulvi Abdul Qadeer, one of the main deputies to mullah Mohammed Omar and former leader of the Taliban Special Council, is among those arrested.

27/07/2007 PAKISTAN
Fresh clashes between police and fundamentalists in the Red Mosque
Police have intervened to quash fundamentalists who took control of the mosque this morning chasing out the government-appointed imam and expelling journalists. A suicide bomber blew himself up in an Islamabad hotel killing at least 12 people.

16/05/2007 PAKISTAN
Stop Islamic world’s slide into obscurantism, says Musharraf
Pakistan’s president issues warning in opening address to the annual summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. One proposal made is to deploy an Islamic peacekeeping force to Iraq. In the meantime Musharraf is facing rising street protests in favour of an independent judiciary and calls for investigation into yesterday’s deadly attack in Peshawar.

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