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Musharraf asks mosque rebels to surrender

world Updated: Jul 07, 2007 19:37 IST

AFP
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Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday told Islamists at a besieged mosque in the capital to surrender or risk being killed, in his first public comments on the five-day standoff.

"They should not prolong, they should surrender and hand over their weapons, otherwise they risk being killed," Musharraf told reporters during a visit to the flood-hit southwestern province of Baluchistan.

Hundreds of hardline students and dozens of militants have been holed up at the Red Mosque in Islamabad since Tuesday in a bloody confrontation that has left at least 19 people dead.