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Pak army smokes out Lal Masjid rebels

July 10, 2007
In a pre-dawn operation on Tuesday, the Pakistan Army stormed the pro-Taliban Lal Masjid in central Islamabad to flush out militants holding a large number of women and children as hostages, triggering a fierce gunbattle which left 88 radicals and 12 commandos dead.

Fifty militants were injured in the operation and an equal number of madrassa students and ultras surrendered.

Twenty-six women and three children were rescued from the besieged complex.

Deputy administrator of the mosque Abdul Rashid Ghazi, who is using women and children as human shields, is holed up in the basement of the mosque and has been asked to surrender.

Image: Smoke billows out of the Lal Masjid during the army offensive.
Photographs: Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images
Also See:
Musharraf's theatre of the absurd
Lal Masjid standoff: A chronology
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