The week long siege of a radical mosque in Pakistan appears to be close to an end. Authorities have been securing the last parts of the Red Mosque in Islamabad – a day after an assault killed a rebel cleric, more than 50 Islamic militants and eight soldiers.
But the final death toll could be much higher as a number of questions remain unanswered including whether any women and children died in the complex. More than 1,200 people left during the standoff after clashes erupted. But no-one knew how many people were in the compound when yesterday’s assault began.
Several loud explosions and gunfire were heard early this morning as troops destroyed booby-traps and mines. Students at the mosque and its attached religious schools had waged a campaign for months pressing for Sharia law to be introduced in Islamabad.