facebook
twitter
search
search

Cleric reports hundreds killed in mosque

July 8, 2007 at 7:21 AM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 8 (UPI) -- At least 335 students, mostly women, died when Pakistani forces bombed the wall of a mosque under seige by Islamists in Islamabad, a cleric claimed Sunday.

Abdul Rashid Ghazi's allegations could not be independently confirmed, the Indo Asian News Service said.

Rashid said 310 women and 25 men died inside Lal Masjid, known as the Red Mosque, overnight when Pakistani forces attempted to blow holes in the compound's walls.

The Pakistani army hoped the holes would allow students inside to escape, said a military statement.

A Pakistani colonel died Saturday night in the heaviest firing in the six-day seige, BBC News reported. The colonel was shot by students inside the mosque as his forces advanced on the wall, the BBC said.

In a statement Saturday, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said the students had no option but to surrender.

As many as 1,800 students remained in the mosque Saturday, BBC said.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
North Korea blasts arrival of U.S. submarine in South Korean port
U.S. lottery lowers portion of cash allocated to jackpot prize
South Korea rescues 5 North Korean sailors
F-16, Cessna planes collide midair in South Carolina, killing two
Houston-based LINN leaves Texas shale