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July 10, 2007

Red Mosque's Top Cleric: Dead

Last rites:

Abdul Rashid Ghazi is said to have died in heavy fighting at the Lal Masjid compound.

...

The fighting has already left some 50 militants and eight soldiers dead.

Commandos stormed the facility before dawn when last-ditch efforts to negotiate a surrender failed.

More than 13 hours later, troops were still trying to root out the defenders who are reportedly armed with rocket-launchers and machine guns.

Army spokesman General Waheed Arshad said: "Militants are taking positions in almost every room, they're fighting from room-to-room, they have positions in the basement."

Maybe the Pakistanis should withdraw from Pakistan, etc. Baker-Hamilton. You know the drill.

A video report at the link. Below video on the storming of the Red Mosque.

Bill Roggio live-blogged the assault:

After a week of negotiations and skirmishes at the Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, which left over 20 dead and 100 wounded, the final assault on the compound has begun. Pakistani security forces, led by the elite 111 Brigade, the Special Services Group, and the Pakistani Rangers, launched a major offensive early Tuesday morning Pakistan time on the radical Islamist mosque in the heart of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. Islamabad is said to be rocked with explosions. Metroblogging Pakistan provides the details of the opening moves of the assault, with rolling updates.

...

Maulana Abdul Aziz and Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, the leaders of the Red Mosque, have repeatedly threatened to launch a suicide campaign if the mosque was assaulted by Pakistani security forces. Abdul Aziz is in government custody after attempting to escape the mosque in a burka on July 4. Members of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which is the new name of the banned terror group and al-Qaeda affiliate Lashkar-e-Taiba, were also captured attempting to escape the mosque late last week. Jamaat-ud-Dawa has been put on the Specially Designated Global Terrorist list.

Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, who has held out in the Red Mosque, has been reported captured. He was reportedly on the phone with Aaj TV when Commandos "apparently arrived at his location in the Red Mosque compound in central Islamabad."

"Commandos are at the door of my room," Ghazi told Aaj TV. Ghazi threatened to martyr himself rather than be taken alive.

For once, a jihadi leader who's true to his word.


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posted by Ace at 02:13 PM

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