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Death of Pakistani officer leading Lal Masjid operation confirmed
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15:41, July 08, 2007

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The officer who led the Lal Masjid operation died of critical injuries in hospital, an Pakistani army spokesman said Sunday morning.

The spokesman also said that two security men were also injured on Saturday when two unidentified men fired at them outside the Lal Masjid.

Haroon Islam, who was leading the operation against the hardline militants in the mosque, died in a hospital in Rawalpindi, some 30 kilometers south from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, according to reports.

On Saturday, the fifth day of the mosque crisis, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said that the remaining militants in Lal Masjid would surrender or die.

"They should not prolong, they should surrender and hand over their weapons, otherwise they risk being killed," he said.

"The government has enough power and no one can stand before its might," he said, "Our concern is for children and women and we are showing lot of patience and restraint."

Musharraf said that the government had been showing patience in dealing with Lal Masjid and trying to save lives as many as possible.

Source: Xinhua



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