The Siege of Lal Masjid: Day 4 – Operations Intensify!

LiveBlog documenting Day 4 of the tragic saga in Islamabad. Keep posting your Comments. You can read another of our earlier posts about the situation as specops and other military forces assembled outside Lal Masjid!

IMB Team


7th July 11:20 PM
A for [Pine]Apple reports,

A person got hit by a bullet while having dinner at his house in F-6/1. He’s been brought to Poly Clinic. One such case in these 5 days.

7th July 11:15 PM
Residents of F-6 are hearing shots being fired from the Lal Masjid area. This is scary. They are saying its continuous firing of various guns as most of them sound different.

7th July 8:45 PM
A recorded broadcast of a press conference from the Ministry of Interior said,

There is crossfire, and one cannot identify who got shot by who.

Does it mean they are suggesting friendly fire on the military’s side? At least they could release the number of wounded on their end. They also said,

The numbers of dead inside are not being properly conveyed, and they are contradicting their earlier claims.

Lastly, there is nothing wrong with having a live press conference broadcast, everything at this moment is random and one CAN be in a situation where they cannot give a definitive answer to a certain question. Also, if they could inform the people at what time they will be broadcasting a press conference it would be extremely useful to all of us. Since I couldn’t follow the entire thing, I can only quote two things that were said.

7th July 6:15 PM
There has been any significant development in the situation thus far. Which is really sad considering the agony it has caused, the blood that has been spilled and the ones that still need medical attention. Yes, there are people inside the Lal Masjid that have bullet and shrapnel wounds and need urgent treatment. The only thing holding them back are the madmen inside, that threaten to kill them if they try to leave, or rather ‘escape’. While my worthy team mates provide you with detailed accounts, I thought I provide you with some Google Earth shots and label them for our readers who want to link a picture of the area to their blogs. So here they are,

Vicinity of Lal Masjid, the Markaz of G-6. You can safely assume that the Melody Food Park is further north, adjacent to Holiday Inn. Both the places that were full of like on all days of the the week are now deserted to a good extent:

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This second picture shows you the general setting of G-6 in Islamabad and some important structures nearby. Had this action against the insurgents of Lal Masjid not been taken, the matter could have been worse:

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The bullets are said to have spread in all four directions from this area. Landing in places as far as the south face of F-6, and Blue Area.

7th July 6:15 PM
The conditions are still not very different from last night. A young kid, Jawad of 14, managed to escape from Lal Masjid (sans burqa). He said people are threatened to be killed if they will go out.

IESCO has extended the date of Bill Payments till 17th July without any surcharge. Gas of G-6/3 is resumed but the other three sectors are still facing difficulties regarding Gas and Electricity. Sherpao says that shortly span of area with curfew would be lessened. For relief of people living in G-6 area, more utility vans would be sent during curfew break.

7th July 3:50 AM
As the rain silenced the muzzles, the sound of thunder, wind and a welcoming adaan take one over in moments of confusion and despair.

There has so far been no great development in the Operation Silence, ak since long as Operation Lal Deen. I am trying to get Google Earth so I can post some cool pics of the area we are talking about. Hopefully.

7th July 3:23 AM
I have suggestion for the army outside. Use helicopters to survey the area from a good height, recon constantly! Use floodlights to light up the area. Don’t leave a single spot of shadow, anywhere. Escaping in darkness is easier than in lights. Just a thought. Helicopters can also provide a great platform for lighting up a huge area.

7th July 2:45 AM
It was heard that the Jamia Faridia men were dragged inside when they got shot. It is not hard to imagine how grim the situation is inside the mosque where the dead and injured lie dying.

Rasheed and his mother are still inside. The mother is said to be aged and being used as a tool to escape arrest from time and time again. Rasheed has repeatedly used her health as a knife to cut open the negotiations earlier today. When that failed, he opted to make a stand and fight. He too has closed all venues of negotiations with the forces outside.

7th July 2:40 AM
Backpacker reports:

It has started raining in Islamabad. Sources close to ground zero reported that just as it stopped raining a few militants tried escaping from the north side of the complex who were shot down by security forces and their dead bodies are lying close to the drain next to the mosque.

7th July 2:31 AM
Backpacker reports:

In a recent update by Islamabad Capital Police, Jamia Fareedia in E-7 which is twice the size of Jamia Hafsa was peacefully taken over by the police. The sources reported no explosions in the vicinity which denies earlier reports of massive explsions in E-7.

7th July 2:30 AM
Rain and winds add to the eeriness of the silence after a number of explosions and dozens of emptied magazines… the lights on the roads are on, but no one is driving a car tonight. The nation is glued to the tube. Testing moments for a nation about to turn 60 in 37 days. Our strength comes from perseverance in the face of adversity… not in radicalism!

7th July 2:12 AM
backpacker reports,

In a recent update the Islamabad Capital police announced that people living in a 3 KM radius around G-6 should not come to their roof tops, or their terraces or their courtyards, to avoid any mishap by becoming a victim of stray gunfire. That’s because the firing range of the weapons being used in operation have an effective range of 3+ KM. This means that residents of G-5,G-6,G-7,F-5,F-6,F-7,F-8, Diplomatic Enclave people traveling on Kashmir highway, and people traveling on Margalla road, should take extreme caution and avoid coming out in the open. Earlier a man was killed on top of Serena Hotel, and later another was injured by stray bullets in front of PolyClinic in G-7.

This is a public service announcement on behalf of the ICP by IMB! Meanwhile, the heavens above put on a show of benevolence and here in Islamabad we have light drizzles unlike last night when it was raining cats and dogs.

7th July 2:03 AM
Faint gunshots can be heard from a distance of 4 to 5 KMs. The TV shows there is smoke and fire on the Jamia Hafsa building, but the light pollution disallows me to make anything out. For a person who has spent his major childhood in Karachi in the 90s, I for know what gun shots sound like. HORRIFIC!

7th July 1:30 AM
The problem might just have exasperated by the operation as F-7 and E-7 are rocked by gun fire, and explosions. Jamia Faridia is located in E-7. Good God… help Islamabad. What the heck!!! >:X These might be the same students that were released yesterday. I fear they have regrouped and rearmed. Damn…

7th July 1:30 AM
Earlier, Ahmed reported,

Some development as reported by www.onlinenews.com:

ISLAMABAD: Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi Friday showed willingness to hand over 3 orphans.

It has learnt that member of MMA Shah Abdul Aziz made a telephonic contact with besieged leader of Lal Masjid extremists to know about situation of teenage students, female and male, requested for their hand over, guaranteed for their proper look after but Lal Masjid mullah imparted that there were no teenagers in Mosque as propagated by government expect three, one male and two females, could be handed over on the pledge of their proper bring up.

Later on, Maulana Aziz had informed and discussed this development with officials of Interior Ministry to hatch a mechanism for the custody of these orphans.

Mega phones being used to inform the press and media men around to move back, further, from the firing zone.

7th July 1:18 AM
SHOTS FIRED! Firing from both ends in the standoff, Lal Masjid have opened fire with the Spec Ops doing the same! Heavy firing heard from the G-6 area as far as G-10. Ambulances can be heard rushing towards hospitals. The Special Forces have made a final move in as it seems. 7.7.7 in the making!?

The specops had already assembled as reported earilier!

68 Comments so far

  1. Khan (unregistered) on July 7th, 2007 @ 3:57 pm

    @mo0hamed ali , your logic seems very poor, just think why there is a rule of law in the country (sweden) where you live , not because they killed (took them out of circulation) all the fanatics. But because they have democracy and their forces never kill their own people. Tell me if it is possible to kill even a Taliban fanatic who is a citizen of America or Europe.


  2. Kamran (unregistered) on July 7th, 2007 @ 4:09 pm

    Gentlemen

    This has been going on for 6 months. Why is the timing of this operation so peculiar?? APC starting in London but media will now continue to cover this live stage drama.

    Get real if you guys think anyone has the best interests of these innocent students at heart.

    This sore has been allowed to fester for decades right under the nose of the goverment!!!!!


  3. sumaiyya (unregistered) on July 7th, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

    what i really seek is that, its not the red brigade defering this whole.its all up to the government,if they want to vanish them from the scene they can do it in a couple of hours without any bloodshed.the woemn and girls lives issues seems to me a pretext of postponement.we have an example of Bugti,has it given much time and hype.goverment is not paying militay forces just to open fire on them or anyone confronting,they have their paid think tanks or policy/strategy/decision makers who are capale enough to windup this situation as soon as possible.but the orders arent yet given to them by the supreme authority who is on the trip to balochistan with all the fears and doubts.


  4. mo0hamed ali (unregistered) on July 7th, 2007 @ 4:38 pm

    @khan so what do u suggest? lets hear your logic?
    when ppl like fundos want to whip beat or kill innocnet ppl for trying to enjoy a few freedoms life offers, what are you going to do?
    there are laws that must be followed, you cannot have two laws in the same country can you?
    one law for progressive ppl and one law for the fundo? u know as well as everybody else they r traing young lads to go kill themsleves for some silly cause, with false promises to reach paradise. they have to be stopped and stopped now. if they do not give up peacefully then force should be used. maybe musharaf is using delay tactics to make the usa panic and send more money to line the pockets of some already very rich and powerful ppl.
    mohamed from sweden


  5. jay (unregistered) on July 7th, 2007 @ 6:37 pm

    regionaltimes.com

    a Karachi based English language daily.


  6. A for [pine]apple (unregistered) on July 7th, 2007 @ 7:55 pm
  7. Kami (unregistered) on July 7th, 2007 @ 8:53 pm

    I am working on a time difference, so first I need to catch up;

    Dear Hamid,

    How sweat of you to call me senseless, however, where did in my post did I said, Kill them all?. I implied that people like Aziz, Rasheed and Fazlullah of Swat are like leeches sucking our blood and you know how you remove leeches? Yes, carefully with a forcep one at a time. Now you got it. And ofcourse, after removing them you cannot treat them like royalty, why? because they are criminals. Yes! you have got, I must say you are catching up fast. Let me elaborate further, remember when the Allied forces were approaching Kabul and the poor Madrassa students were sent on a Jihad by the truck loads by these same leeches. Remember, when the panjsheri’s approached the capital, how these Madressah students were abandoned in the ditches by their Taliban Commanders. There is no count of how many of these poor students were slaughtered and herded like animals. Yes, you remembered now. I must say you are doing good!

    Now how to tackle the issue of people believing in different ideologies or having different belief systems. Simple, its perfectly natural, thats what makes us human. I dont have a problem with a Burqa or a Bikini but, I do have a problem with the words like Enforcement and Nifaaz. Great! you got this too.

    Now to the issue of how the government is handling this crisis. Contrary, to my beliefs about a dictatorial rule, the govt has handled this with extreme patience, otherwise a crazy commander would have bombed his way in by now and killed innocents by the dozens, remembered Panam hijacking or the raid on Khana-e-Kaabaa. Oh! you remembered that too! good keep it up.

    Now to the broader issue, what is happening is not a recent phenomenon, but over the past 40 years the state of Pakistan has failed its poor and the weak in providing them the basic necessities including education. The void thus created, is being filled by people like these brothers. Mush cannot be blamed for all this, but he has to come up with a clear plan for the future. I dont trust the current crop of politicians to provide that. Hmmmm….. I see that you dont agree, well we can’t agree on everything but I see that you are a perfectly logical man and there is nothing “senseless” about you.

    In the end though the escape of Abdul Aziz is stale news by now, however, I would like to share with everyone the actual dialogue that took place between the female students accompanying Aziz and the lady police constables, here it goes;

    The girls said;
    Burqay mein rahney dou burqa naa uthao
    Burqa jo uth gayaa tou bhade khul jaaey gaa

    And the constables replied;
    Allah meri tauba, Allah meri tauba

    Take care and be safe.


  8. Pretty Simple (unregistered) on July 7th, 2007 @ 9:34 pm

    :D…what a poetry…mukarar.


  9. Kami (unregistered) on July 7th, 2007 @ 9:54 pm

    PRETTY SIMPLE

    Interested in poetry? then listen to this;

    http://www.pakistanimusic.com/playerf.php?str=773

    I am sure it will make you wanna cry.


  10. Phil (unregistered) on July 7th, 2007 @ 10:28 pm

    Shararti loag… :]


  11. jk (unregistered) on July 7th, 2007 @ 11:31 pm

    uh oh, I hear bombs and machine gun fire again.


  12. Asif (unregistered) on July 7th, 2007 @ 11:42 pm

    I think the military, should take a tank and drive through all the way taking down the walls so they have no where to hide.


  13. Fauzan Sohail (unregistered) on July 7th, 2007 @ 11:45 pm

    “There is crossfire, and one cannot identify who got shot by who.”

    I would agree with that statement. It is highly unlikely to give statistics about how many casualties happen due to friendlies or enemy fire in the midst of heavy exchange. In an ever changing situation as extreme as the Lal Masjid standoff, thee surrounding forces are doing their best to keep the casualties on the outside down by restricting civilian presence in the hot zones and telling residents of nearby houses not to venture near their windows or on their houses’ roof.


  14. Pretty Simple (unregistered) on July 7th, 2007 @ 11:59 pm

    :'( :'(


  15. Phil (unregistered) on July 8th, 2007 @ 1:06 am

    Date changes so does the post. Moving to a new post for the new day.


  16. Phil (unregistered) on July 8th, 2007 @ 1:17 am

    Follow ushere now.


  17. iunknown (unregistered) on July 8th, 2007 @ 12:31 pm
  18. Aamir Ali (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 7:24 am

    The folks on this page who blame the government and who call this a drama, are weaklings fleeing the truth and taking refuge in conspiracies and fiction.

    After six months of lawlessness, firing on security personnel and all the deaths, you consider the govt the guilty party? The fanatic Ghazi wants to be given “safe passage” to go to his village and for everyone to forget what happened. I can assure you that will not happen in Pakistan or any other place in the world, except maybe Talibanistan.



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