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Lal Masjid militants to surrender or die: Pakistani president
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09:40, July 08, 2007

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Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf Saturday said the remaining armed personnel of hard-line Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, would surrender or die, private DAWN NEWS TV channel reported.

Musharraf said the government has been showing patience in dealing with Lal Masjid and trying to save lives.

The government is avoiding full-fledged military operation against the Lal Masjid mosque and seminary complex as it does not want massive bloodshed, according to officials.

Hundreds of male and female students are believed to remain inside the Lal Masjid or Red Mosque compound, and they have been held as hostages by the mosque administration and are not allowed to leave, officials said.

Abdul Rashid Ghazi, deputy chief of Lal Masjid, and some hard- core followers, continued to be defiant as the standoff entered into a fifth day Saturday.

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