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Shocker: Violence At Reopened Red Mosque

From those overjoyed defenders of the faith at the Associated Press:

New violence at reopened Pakistan mosque

By SADAQAT JAN, Associated Press Writer

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Hundreds of students clashed with security forces and a nearby bombing killed 11 people Friday during the reopening of Islamabad’s Red Mosque for the first time since a bloody army raid to oust Islamic militants from the complex.

The bomb struck the Muzaffar Hotel, in a downtown market area about a quarter mile from the mosque. Local television showed victims — many of them bleeding or badly burned, with their clothing in tatters — being carried from the wreckage to waiting ambulances.

Amir Mehmood, a witness, said he saw blood, body parts, and shreds of a Punjab police uniform inside the hotel.

Senior Interior Ministry official Javed Iqbal Cheema said 11 people were killed, including seven police, and 43 were wounded.

The bombing came soon after police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who had occupied the Red Mosque complex during its reopening after the raid that left more than 100 dead.

The protesters denounced President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and demanded the return of a pro-Taliban cleric, Abdul Aziz, who was detained by the government during the mosque siege.

The demonstrators threw stones at an armored personnel carrier and dozens of police in riot gear on a road outside the mosque. After the demonstrators disregarded calls to disperse peacefully, police fired tear gas, scattering the crowd.

Earlier, security forces stood by as protesters clambered onto the roof of the mosque and daubed red paint on the walls after they forced a government-appointed cleric assigned to lead prayers to retreat. A cleric from a seminary associated with the mosque eventually led the prayers.

“Musharraf is a dog! He is worse than a dog! He should resign!” students shouted. Some lingered over the ruins of a neighboring girls’ seminary that was demolished by authorities this week. Militants had used the seminary to resist government forces involved in the siege…

In an act of defiance to authorities’ repainting of the mosque this week in pale yellow, protesters wrote “Lal Masjid” or “Red Mosque” in large Urdu script on the dome of the mosque. They also hoisted a black flag with two crossed swords — meant to symbolize jihad, or holy war.

The crowd shouted support for the mosque’s former deputy cleric, Abdul Rashid Ghazi, who led the siege until he was shot and killed by security forces after refusing to surrender. Ghazi was the public face of a vigilante, Islamic anti-vice campaign that had challenged the government’s writ in the Pakistani capital.

“Ghazi, your blood will lead to a revolution,” the protesters chanted…

Over mosque loudspeakers, protesters vowed to “take revenge for the blood of martyrs.”

In a speech at the mosque’s main entrance, Liaqat Baloch, deputy leader of a coalition of hard-line religious parties, the Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal, condemned Musharraf as a “killer” and declared there would be an Islamic revolution in Pakistan.

“Maulana Abdul Aziz is still the prayer leader of the mosque. The blood of martyrs will bear fruit. This struggle will reach its destination of an Islamic revolution. Musharraf is a killer of the constitution. He’s a killer of male and female students. The entire world will see him hang,” Baloch said.

Pakistan’s Geo television showed scenes of pandemonium inside the mosque, with dozens of young men in traditional Islamic clothing and prayers caps shouting angrily and punching the air with their hands.

Officials were pushed and shoved by men in the crowd. One man picked up shoes left outside the mosque door and hurled them at news crews recording the scene

Things are out of control if these holy students are throwing shoes at their allies in the media.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, July 27th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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