One Pakistani paramilitary Ranger was killed by gunfire from inside the mosque in fighting at Lal Masjid, or the Red Mosque. While Islamabad's deputy commissioner Chaudhry Muhammad Ali said there was no plan to raid the mosque, Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said that police were "provoked into retaliation'' by the students who started the gunfire. The Pakistani government forces fired teargas into the mosque and adjoining madrassa.
Considered a potential flash point for an Islamist uprising, the Musharraf government has been extremely hesitant to crack down on the pro-Taliban Islamist mosque that has been enforcing their own law on shops in the adjacent areas, particularly movie and music shop owners. But it is also reported that "Maulana Fazlur Rahman, the leader of the opposition in Parliament, gave his tacit support for the [Musharraf] government to confront the Taliban." The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) opposition is "also said to have agreed with Musharraf during a National Security Council meeting on Monday that extremism should be confronted with 'iron hands'."
The recent 2,000-strong reinforcement around Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) may be part of the "iron hand" Musharraf has in mind, though his track record of confronting the Islamists leaves some observers wondering if his actions at Lal Masjid will match the language.
Update: Thus far on Tuesday (03July07), at least 9 have been killed in the Red Mosque confrontation, including two members of the Pakistani police and/or paramilitary rangers.
Note: Reuters has a good background resource sheet: FactBox - Pakistan's Red Mosque in standoff with government.