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Muslims Kill 6 Muslims At Muslim “Red Mosque”

From France’s (shocked and horrified) AFP:

Photo

An armed Pakistani religious student of the Red Mosque and seminary is seen outside the mosque during clashes with security forces in Islamabad, July 3, 2007.

Six killed in battle at radical Pakistan mosque

by Masroor Gilani

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Pakistani security forces fought gunbattles with students from a pro-Taliban mosque in downtown Islamabad Tuesday, leaving a soldier, a cameraman and four students dead and 120 hurt, officials said.

The violence followed months of tension at the Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, which has challenged President Pervez Musharraf’s authority by kidnapping several Chinese and Pakistani civilians in a freelance anti-vice campaign.

Gas mask-wearing students carrying Kalashnikovs exchanged fire with troops and police for more than four hours, as well as torching two government buildings as the violence escalated, an AFP correspondent said.

“They provoked the law enforcing agencies after which they retaliated,” Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said. “We do not want bloodshed but we definitely want them to hand over those who opened fire.”

Security officials said the fighting started when police fired volleys of tear gas after dozens of baton-wielding male and burqa-clad female students attacked policemen near the mosque and took four guns and a radio set.

As people fled to two of the capital’s busiest shopping areas nearby, bearded students exchanged fire with security forces from behind sandbags and bunkers chanting “Jihad! Jihad! (holy war)”.

A loudspeaker announcement from the mosque warned of impending suicide attacks. “The blood of the martyrs will not go to waste. We are ready for suicide attacks,” the unidentified mullah’s voice said.

Later students set fire to the nearby Ministry of Environment Building and a nearby property belonging to the Capital Development Authority. A loud blast was heard, believed to be related to the fires…

A spokesman for the mosque said 12 students in all had been killed but this was not confirmed by officials…

Musharraf said last week that suicide bombers from an Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic militant group were sheltering in the mosque.

But he has held off largely for fear of causing casualties among the thousands of students — especially the women, most of whom hail from Taliban-sympathising areas along the Afghan border.

One of the two brothers who runs the mosque, Abdul Rashid Ghazi, said the students had retaliated after security forces opened fire, and said the authorities had broken an agreement not to besiege the mosque…

Last month the students briefly kidnapped seven Chinese nationals from an acupuncture clinic that mosque officials said was a brothel…

My favorite part:

Security officials said the fighting started when police fired volleys of tear gas after dozens of baton-wielding male and burqa-clad female students attacked policemen near the mosque and took four guns and a radio set.

They are so religious.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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