Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Pakistan On Red Alert After Mosque Seizure

Masked Taliban gunmen have forcibly occupied the tomb of Haji Sahib Turangzai, who "led a successful Jihad against the British". They have also seized and a nearby mosque, which they have renamed Lal Masjid.

Pakistan's Daily Times quoted Taliban leader Umar Khalid as saying, “We want to take forward the missions of Haji Turangzai and Lal Masjid’s slain khateeb Ghazi Abdul Rashid.”

According to reports from India, Pakistani security forces are on red alert, with orders not to wear their uniforms or congregate in large groups. The change in status came after government officials claimed the former cleric of Lal Masjid, Abdul Aziz, had revealed during interrogation that five or six hundred students had been "trained, equipped and brainwashed to carry out suicide attacks", had left the mosque before it was attacked, and are still in Islamabad.

NDTV of New Delhi quoted an unnamed official as saying:
"During the debriefing of students from Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa, the security agencies learnt that they believed that President Pervez Musharraf and his team were kaafirs (non-believers) and agents of the US and had to be killed."
"The bombers are targeting army and law enforcement personnel to avenge the killings of their colleagues and Abdul Rashid Ghazi."
Are these reports true? Or are they just lies being told for propaganda purposes? Time will probably tell, but I don't imagine anyone would want to find out the hard way.