Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Assault On The Red Mosque

For a full chronology of what has caused the Red Mosque explosion in Pakistan the International Herald Tribune runs down the happenings since January.

Jihad Watch has the short version.

The mosque is surrounded by several thousand heavily armed government commandos and rangers. The siege began Tuesday, after a vicious gun battle that left 19 people dead. Clerics at the Red Mosque, in a residential neighborhood in the heart of the normally tranquil capital, had been provoking the government for months with operations aimed at stamping out vice. Students from a madrassa, or religious school, affiliated with the mosque abducted police officers and alleged prostitutes, and they threatened music store owners with attacks.

The mosque standoff comes as Pakistan faces a growing threat from religious extremists, who have been moving eastward from the Afghan border in recent years.
Attacking music stores seems to be a recurrent theme among the jihadis. Now if they were just against rap music I could understand it. This seems excessive. Don't they have any respect for culture? I think I know the answer to that one.

Bill Roggio has the play by play.
10th July 7:00 AM
A part of Lal Masjid on fire!! Black smoke rising from the complex. Intense fighting going on, and severe resistance from the militants.

10th July 7:15 AM
Commandos enter the basement!. The top of complex has been cleared. 10 big buses dispatched towards Lal Masjid. Intense shelling of tear gas and firing continues and rounds of automatic weapons can be heard from here. Ghazi Rasheed says he will fight till martyrdom. Security forces dead bodies being rushed to PIMS. 50 people arrested from the complex till now. Residents of G-6 advised not to leave their homes. 70 resistants killed or injured in the operation so far.

10th July 7:20 AM
3 special forces personal die. 20 militants casualties. 15 militants injured. Nerve gas used in the basement. Firing has reduced a somewhat probably due to causalities within the complex. 40% of the complex under security forces control. A significant portion of the complex was bobby trapped according to the army spokesman

10th July 7:30 AM
Firing has subsided a lot, which could probably mean that security forces have essentially taken over a major portion of the complex. Operation probably has moved into it’s final phases. Media persons not allowed near the quadrent off site, and security personal have been ordered to shoot them on sight. Media people not allowed near the hospitals too. Scout helicopters flying over the complex.
Evidently it is all over, except for the postmortems. I have seen reports of six families going to the school before the shooting started to retrieve their children. So far there are no reports of the return of the families. With or without their children.

That is really a tragedy. Kids suffer because of their parent's. Later in life kids get to return the favor. With interest. We are in fact today suffering from what children of the Middle East were taught 15 to 20 years ago. Our current difficulties are of recent origin in terms of proximate causes. In terms of more general cause we are suffering from banditry disguising itself as religion. Ultimately it breaks down as it always must because there is no honor among thieves. Starting with the Shia-Sunni split.

The BBC has pictures.

Bloomberg has some more detailed news.

H/T Instapundit

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