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'Jihad' in Islamabad

July 03, 2007
After a six-month stand-off between the Pakistan government and the Jamia Hafsa, the girls' seminary of Islamabad's Lal Masjid turned violent on Tuesday as militant students of Lal Masjid clashed with security personnel in Islamabad.

A Pakistani paramilitary trooper and a civilian were killed and several injured in the clash.

A government spokesman alleged that the firing started after several madrassa students tried to barge into a building where the Rangers were lodged.

However, the mosque's administrator and militant cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi alleged that violence erupted when Rangers moved close to the girls' madarassa and fired tear gas shells.

The government has come under increasing pressure to act against the students and clerics who, last month, held seven Chinese captive in the mosque for 15 hours for indulging in 'un-Islamic' acts.

Image: An armed student of Lal Masjid walks across a barricaded road near the mosque during the exchange of fire between students and paramilitary soldiers in Islamabad.
Reportage: PTI | Photographs: Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images

Also read: All about the Lal Masjid stand-off

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