13 Dead in Red Mosque Blast

Islamist students occupy Islamabad mosque -- again
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2007 8:57 AM CDT
Pakistani religious students and protesters throw rocks at police outside the Red Mosque or Lal Masjid in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, July 27, 2007. Hundreds of religious students occupied Islamabad's...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Thirteen people were killed today by a bomb that rocked a hotel near the Pakistan's Red Mosque after Islamist students occupied the shrine—again—demanding the release of the mosque's pro-Taliban cleric. Workers had just finished repainting the mosque, in the wake of the bloody siege that ended in more than 100 deaths, the BBC reports.

Protesters threw stones at police, painted "Red Mosque" on the mosque's dome, and raised a black flag symbolizing jihad. They prevented a different, government-appointed cleric from leading prayers. "I was never interested in taking up this job and after today I will never do it," grumbled the cleric as he was escorted from the building.