Over 17 killed, hundreds wounded in Pakistan mosque crisis

131.jpgMore than 17 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in a gunbattle between security forces and Lal Mosque students here Tuesday that led to put red security alert across the country, said police and hospital sources.

 

More than 17 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in a gunbattle between security forces and Lal Mosque students here Tuesday that led to put red security alert across the country, said police and hospital sources.

Hospital and rangers’ sources said that a policeman, two rangers, 11 students, two passers-by and a cameraman of a UK-based news channel were killed and more than 200 people, including about a dozen media persons were wounded in the clashes.

Federal State Minister of Interior, Zafar Warriach, confirmed only nine deaths and said over 140 were wounded.

Meanwhile, security across the country was put on red alert and heavy deployment made at diplomatic enclaves in all major cities as well as main Madrassahs and Mosques to avert any untoward incident.

The exchange of fire was halted by Tuesday night but both Mosque vigilantes and security forces were holding their positions.

All street lights were off and clerics were reportedly holding negotiations with the government to seek force withdrawal around the Mosque and ceasefire.

According to police source, despite efforts for ceasefire, the government has reinforced rangers and police force deployed near the mosque, increasing their strength to more than 1500.

A decision whether to continue the operation will be taken after assessing the ground realities, State Interior Minister Zafar Warriach told a news conference here.

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