Friday, May 28, 2010

Mosque attacks: 17 dead

An image made from Geo TV video shows Pakistani police officer takes cover during a crackdown operation against militants in Lahore, Pakistan on Friday, May 28, 2010. Gunmen armed with grenades attacked two mosques belonging to a minority Islamic sect during Friday prayers in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, police said. Casualties were expected. Bottom line reads "Alleged attacker arrested in Model Town". -- PHOTO: GEO TV, AP

LAHORE - GUNMEN attacked two mosques in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Friday, taking hostages from among people gathered for prayers in at least one building and causing at least 17 casualties, an official said.

One mosque was located in the upscale neighbourhood of Model Town, where a suicide car bomber struck in March, and the second in the heavily congested area of Garhi Shahu. They are both mosques for members of the Ahmadi sect.

'Terrorists have attacked mosques. They are firing and using grenades. They have taken people inside the mosque hostage,' district civil defence official Muzha Ahmed told AFP by telephone from the scene in Garhi Shahu.

'My team told me that some people died and some people were injured, but I have no exact number,' Mr Ahmed added.

Amjad Iqbal, a police officer who was in Garhi Shahu told AFP by telephone that many people were feared injured. 'Firing is still going on. The attackers are on the roof of the mosque and they are shooting at police. One of the attackers fell off the roof,' he said.

It was feared that people were wounded, he said, but he could not provide any numbers because of the ongoing firing. -- AFP

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