Islamabad Red Mosque Cleric Ghazi Killed

ISLAMABAD: The deputy chief of Lal mosque Abdul Rasheed Ghazi has been killed in operation silence lunched against the militants holed up in the Lal mosque, the Interior ministry sources said on Tuesday.

A bullet had hit in a leg of Ghazi during gunfire and he was also asked to surrender after he was injured but he refused and was ultimately killed, some sources said.

Yet anotheer report says that Ghazi was killed in firing by some militants who were hiding along with him when he came out of a bunker and was heading to surrender, the other reports said.

Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah has confirmed that the deputy chief of Lal mosque Abdul Rasheed Ghazi was killed in operation silence lunched against the militants holed up in the Lal mosque.

Ghazi was killed in a bunker as a result of cross firing during the operation silence, he said.The military authorities have also confirmed the death of Abdul Rasheed Ghazi.

Abdul Rashid Ghazi, a militant Islamic cleric who had vowed to die with his students inside an Islamabad mosque rather than to surrender, once had a relatively moderate lifestyle.

Ghazi, the deputy leader of the Red Mosque, was holed up in a basement with several women and children on Tuesday after troops raided the compound, officials said. At least 58 people have died in the assault.

Meanwhile, the body of the deputy chief of Lal mosque Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, who was killed along with his aides during operation silence lunched against the militants holed up in the Lal mosque is reported to have been sent to a hospital for autopsy, the sources said.

Several militants were also killed in the operation, the sources added. The DNA test of Abdul Rasheed Ghazi will also be conducted.

Ghazi was killed in firing by some militants who were hiding along with him when he came out of a bunker and was heading to surrender, the other reports said.

The articulate 43-year-old — who attended a madrassa in his youth — was remembered as a moderate pupil by a professor at the moderate Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad.

“He was a normal, moderate student who was well adjusted to a co-educational system,” Naim Qureshi, one of Ghazi’s history professors said.

Ghazi did a master’s degree in history in 1987-88. A photo of him and his classmates still hangs on the history department’s wall.

Ghazi married into a moderate family and lived a relatively westernised life. He got a government job in the education ministry and also worked with UNESCO, the UN’s culture organisation.

His father, Abdullah Aziz, who founded the Red Mosque, was so angry about his lifestyle that he handed over his property to his brother, current mosque leader Abdul Aziz.

Abdul Aziz was caught last Wednesday trying to flee the compound in a burqa.

Ghazi completely changed after his father was shot dead inside the mosque by a lone gunman. He joined his brother Abdul Aziz, who took over the mosque in 1998 and nominated him as his deputy.

His colleagues said that in 2004 he survived an attempt on his life and since then had always carried a Kalashinkov with him. “You always find an AK-47 in his car, with him in the madrassa and even at his bedside,” one colleague said.

Since the mosque came under siege a week ago, Ghazi said repeatedly that he would rather be what he called ‘martyred’ than give in to the government.

Dody Shifted

Meanwhile, the dead body of the naib khateeb of Lal Masjid Maulana Abdul Rasheed Ghazi has been shifted from Lal Masjid.

According to the details, a large number of army vehicles accompanied the dead body of Abdul Rasheed Ghazi.

The sources said that the post mortem and DNA test of the dead body will be carried out.

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