Lal Masjid Update – Abdul Aziz Captured, Mehsud Fighters in Mosque

abdul-aziz-coward-in-burqa.jpg 

Update: Above you can see “Aunty” Aziz modeling his/her burqa. She appears to have lost her veil, how sinful. 

A minimum of 100 800 1200 Students have now surrendered.

While Abdul Aziz Ghazi is now captured, his younger brother, Abdul Rashid Ghazi remains inside with the Mehsud fighter and members of Jaimsh-e-Muhammed. Estimates are anywhere between 600 to 1300 students remain inside facing another deadline. They are without power, water, and food.

UPDATE: 8 explosions heard amid gunfire from vicinity of mosque, no fresh news yet. All blogs in Pakistan are heavily condemning this in comments sections, and the ususal small percentage is chalking it up to a government conspiracy.

From Times of India:

At least 100 students of the radical Lal Masjid here surrendered on Wednesday before a fresh deadline set by the Pakistani government ended even as the two hardline clerics along with several other students remained holed up inside.

The surrender came as President Pervez Musharraf announced a reward of Rs 5,000 for every student who surrenders besides pardoning them and giving travel facilities to all of them. Some students who spoke to waiting journalists complained that they were being pressurised not to leave by mosque authorities.
The two radical clerics, Abdul Aziz and Abdul Rahid Ghazi, were still defiant inside the mosque along with some hardline students and were resisting efforts to surrender. Reports also said that the bodies of three students who were killed by army snipers were lying inside the mosque. The bloody stand off between the mosque students and the security forces surrounding the seminary has till now claimed 21 lives and injured over 150

Jang is reporting that the number is 300, and that the government has extended the deadline. Forums at Metroblogging Islamabad also state that the children exiting are saying they can’t talk out of fear.

This update from Reuters gives you good background on the Mosque and the Extremist brothers who run it.

The suicide bombing is in NWFP, and appears unrelated to Jamia Hafsa / Lal Masjid, perhaps they didn’t catch all of the suicide bombers coming through Gilgit we reported on yesterday. Update will full timeline to present below the read more link

UPDATE: Story from BBC on how Ghazi was captured in a Burqa, trying to leave with the female students.   H/T Charles at LGF.

UPDATE With Timeline FROM Metroblogging Islamabad 

Update: 2:401. 600+ Students (male and female) came out of jameya and surrendered.

2. Ghazi brothers are thought to be fled away from the Lal masjid – They cannot be contacted; nor would any students who have come give an indication of their presence inside. Their families can’t be seen in as well, including Um e Hasan (Principal of Jameya and Wife of Ghazi Abdur Rasheed).

3. Deadline extended to 3 PM – relaxation given to have maximum number of students out from the Lal Masjid.

Update: 3:00
1. 750+ Students come out and surrenders.
2. Dr. Amir Liaquat resigns (??)

Altaf Hussein has asked to extend the deadlines again….

The media has been backed out of the area, Armored Personel Carriers (APCs) are in motion at 3:15 Pakistan Standard time.

Deadline is extended till 4 PM. The Ghazi Brothers may be inside premises of lal masjid.

3:30 PM Pakistan Standard time 7/5 (they are over the dateline — to us it’s tomorrow in Pakistan)

Abdul Azeez sahab (the elder brother) is known to be fled out, while the younger brother (nayib Khateen ) Ghazi Abdur Rasheed’s still inside. The food is meagre in – requests sought to supply food.

[Editor06:15 am US Central  The last deadline passed fifteen minutes ago, no news or updates anywhere…]

4:30 PM Pakistan Standard Time 7/5, 06:30 AM US Central time 7/4:
Sadar sahab would give Rs. 5000 to every surrendering student

Electricity conditions are worst for poor citizens of G-6. Strict curfew prohibiting them to go for day-to-day chores.
Information Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani says demale students are given permission to o their relatives homes or their own. Though, male students for the sake of accomodating them well are taken to different jails.

Govt given deadline is getting extended & extended and soon it’ll be dark again.

5:10
FIR’s registered against the Ghazi brothers

5:25
Firing can be heard near lal masjid (including Klaschinkovf (sp??)) and tear gas shells can be seen too. Warning till 5 finishes and final warnings are given by govt to come out but Students from Jameya and Lal masjid started firing … raising Naara e Takbeer and Al-Jihad slogans aloud. (Naara e takbeer is one famous slogan raised by our Armed Corps too – so Allah o Akbar Vs. Allah o Akbar … ??)

5:42 PM
Activity near the Lal Masjid intensifies as gun shots from automatic rifles are heard. Tracked vehicles can be heard. Gun smoke can be smelt several meters away from the site of action. The loudspeaker has gone mute, that was chanting Allah-o-Akbar. After the willing students left, the ones left inside seem to be ready for death or victory.
5:55 PM
Deadlines to surrender are having no effect on the ones inside, they are not budging. Neither will the ones outside. I think this will be one long journey to the finish line. The Government WILL SOLVE the problem, says press release. Kashmir Highway, connecting Grand Trunk Road and Muree has been barricaded.
6:15 PM
Atleast 4 Choppers sighted circling over the Lal Masjid! The Nai’b Khateeb Mr. Ghazi has not backed down from his stance to accept Shahadat and accepted his fate in a talk with Maulana Fazl ur Rehman. The type of the choppers is still unknown… whether they are assault aircraft or transport aircraft, that might lead to suggest the intensity with which the operation might be undertaken.
6:23 PM
AH-1 Cobras flying at tree top height.
6:45 PM
All Hospitals on Stand-by, doctors, nurses, surgeons summoned to expect high number of trauma and emergency cases. Assault Helicopters are able to take down targets from afar, and are built for urban warfare, armed with a gattling gun on the nose and Hellfires/Air To Ground Missiles on the wings made to take down tanks, bunkers and structures.
7:00 PM
Last update. Will start updating after this ends. Hope it ends in a bloodless confrontation and quick. Pray for the dead, pray for the mad, pray for your and mine safety. Allah Hafiz for now.

8:10 PM
MAULANA ABDUL AZIZ ARRESTED WHILE FLEEING WITH THE WOMEN IN A BURQA. So much so for Jihadi spirit! Confirmations still coming in. Initial reports by PTV and DAWN TV.