Pakistani Soldiers Storm Mosque

50 militants killed in day of fighting; hostages' fate unknown
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2007 8:00 AM CST
Smoke rises from Lal masjid, or Red mosque, during heavy gunbattle between Pakistan troops and militants, Tuesday, July 10, 2007 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Troops stormed the compound of Islamabad's Red...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Almost 60 people are confirmed dead and dozens more feared killed 12 hours after the Pakistani army launched an all-out assault on the Red Mosque in Islamabad. A general says that most of the mosque is now under control, but militants continue to resist with rocket launchers and booby traps. The fate of the hundreds of hostages trapped inside remains uncertain.

The attack began after negotiations broke down late last night. General Pervez Musharraf has been in a tricky position throughout the crisis, since large-scale casualties from an attack could lead to a backlash against his government. As for the leader of the militants, the escalation of violence may play perfectly into his hands. "My martyrdom is certain now," he says.