Radicals Kill Pakistani Colonel

Mosque crisis continues, as Islamic students remain barricaded inside
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2007 11:00 AM CDT
An officer of Pakistan paramilitary force, left, shouts with a young religious student who fled the Lal Masjid, or Red mosque, during a heavy fire exchange between militants and government forces, Saturday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A Pakistani colonel leading an attempt to breach the walls of a mosque where Islamic students are holed up has been shot and killed, the BBC reports. Since last Tuesday, when the standoff began, 20 people are believed to have died. Pakistan's President Musharraf has said the Islamic fighters "will be killed" if they do not surrender soon.

One top Pakistani official is now saying  that "terrorists... wanted within and outside Pakistan" are inside the mosque as well, some  connected to "high-profile cases."  It is not known how many followers remain inside, although over 1,000 vacated the mosque earlier in the week. The hardliners want strict religious law imposed in Islamabad, the nation's capital. (Read more Red Mosque stories.)