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!
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
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
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
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!