- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Commandos storm Red Mosque
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Troops stormed the compound of Islamabad’s Red Mosque early today, prompting a fierce firefight with militants accused of holding scores of hostages, officials said. At least 20 militants and three soldiers died in the fighting.
Amid the sounds of rolling explosions, commandos attacked from three directions and quickly cleared the ground floor of the mosque, army spokesman Gen. Waheed Arshad said. About 20 children who rushed toward the advancing troops were brought to safety, he said.
Militants armed with guns, grenades and gasoline bombs were in the basement of the mosque as well as in an adjoining religious school and were putting up “tough resistance,” Gen. Arshad told a press conference.
“Those who surrender will be arrested, but the others will be treated as combatants and killed,” he said.
The assault began minutes after a delegation led by a former prime minister left the area saying that efforts to negotiate a peaceful end to a week-old siege had failed.
Clashes this month between security forces and supporters of the mosque’s hard-line clerics prompted the siege. The Muslim extremists had been trying to impose Taliban-style morality in the capital through a six-month campaign of kidnappings and threats.
Before today’s assault, at least 24 persons had been killed in and around the mosque.
The assault was signaled by blasts and gunfire. Reporters saw more than 40 ambulances approaching the area along with trucks carrying extra soldiers.
“The government is using full force. This is naked aggression,” he said. “My martyrdom is certain now.”
He said that about 30 militants were resisting security forces but were armed only with 14 AK-47 assault rifles.
The attack followed a botched commando raid on the high-walled mosque compound over the weekend.
President Pervez Musharraf assigned former Prime Minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain to try to negotiate a peaceful end to the standoff.
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- CPAC 2014: Rand Paul urges conservatives to fight for liberty
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Soldier who hid to avoid saluting the flag to be punished in secret; Army won't release details
- EDITORIAL: Connecticut revolts against gun controls that could criminalize 300,000
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- EDITORIAL: Harry Reid's corrupt Senate house of cards
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again