Lal Masjid, Musharraf Assassination Attempt Updated

djinn-abdul-aziz-ghazi.jpgThere are tons of stories about the Lal Masjid standoff, the people of Pakistan are following this the way the US followed the OJ trial.  Rumors are rampant, and being propagated by the fact that press is being kept out of the area (the terrorists inside the mosque shot a journalist at the outset of this.) The main thing at the moment is that the government rejected Abdul Rashid’s “surrender terms”. Some foreign language papers might be reporting the surrender terms offered by Ghazi as having been offered by the government.

So just briefly:

  • Reports of the terrorists firing rockets at an APC. (Times of India sometimes “colors” or exagerates reports from Pakistan.)
  • The Ittehad Bain-ul-Muslimeen Committee (IBMC) on Thursday unanimously expressed its support for the government over the Lal Masjid issue and condemned the Lal Masjid administration’s attitude
  • The people living near the mosque are happy with the turn of events, and there are quotes from some describing past incidents with the roving crow-squads here.
  • Federal Religious Minister Ejazul Haq said on Thursday that “Baloch terrorists” were hiding in Lal Masjidhe says 25 hardened terrorists are inside.
  • Some parents went into the mosque and did not come back out fears are that Lal has taken them hostage, they’ve been shot, or perhaps they are staying in support of the jihadis.
  • Aunty Aziz’s burqaesque show is the talk of Pakistan, and most are decrying the hypocrisy. Zahoor, one of the better political cartoonists in Pakistan, and for that matter the world, has a great cartoon regarding that here.
  • Update latest from Reuters 7/6 here. One more student escaped,says all the younger students are being held hostage now, they want to leave.
  • A boy who surrendered after sneaking out of the mosque said older students were forcing younger ones to stay.”Food is running low and water is also limited,” Ashraf Swati, 15, told Reuters, adding several wounded students were inside and the stench from dead bodies hung in the air.
  • Update from Metroblogging:
    • 6th July 7:30 PM (this would have been 9:30 am US Central time)
      Residents of surrounding sectors heard yet again another maddening exchange of gunfire with random booms, explosions from the side of Lal Masjid. The crackdown on the Lal Masjid has now lasted for over 3 days, and it seems the forces outside are trying to push the ones inside to crack out of the compound. Around 6:30 PM and later this exchange of gunfire took place. And 2 tulbaa are said to have died, while 4 are injured. Earlier today, at 3.30 AM, there was another similar clash between the forces who are holed up in their positions and both of them seem to be waiting for the other one to give in first. While the armed forces outside try to make head way, wall by wall.There are constant reports of parents outside complaining that their children inside are being forced not to surrender against their wills. Pakistan Television ran a video of a man of pakhtun origin totally broken into tears for the life of his son inside. This is sad.

UPDATE: Assassination attempt on Musharraf Confirmed Reuters.

More on the Assassination attempt from Reuters.  Note that assassination teams were sent from the Gilgit / Darkot region Thursday, seven were captured, but how many got through? Gilgit / Darkot has been reported as a region that Bin Laden has been sighted in past reports. More at Metroblogging, photos.

Previous long history on Lal Masjid here.

In other news the trend of Al Qaeda crossing from Iraq through Iran to Pakistan continues, two more were picked up at the Taftan border crossing, and this is occurring almost daily. The question is are they headed to Afghanistan, or is AQ now focused on Pakistan?

Unconfirmed rumor of CONFIRMED rocket attack against President Musharraf as he toured flood-ravaged areas to supervise aid efforts. Metroblogging Islamabad. See Reuters link in headline above.

The political trend of MNA’s deserting PPP for PML continues with two more today.

Another “fire and run away” rocket attack against a miltary post missed in the Khyber agencie today, no casualties. It’s almost as if they are firing blind just to make jihadi video footage, they miss so often.

In Iraq the terrorists use VBIED’s or Vehicle-Born Improvised Explosive Devices to blow up marketplaces and slaughter Muslim civilians, but in Pakistan when Al Qaeda or the Taliban want to blow up civilians they use BBIED’s – Bicycle Born Improvised Explosive Devices.