Pakistani religious activists stage protest inside Lal Masjid | world | Hindustan Times
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Pakistani religious activists stage protest inside Lal Masjid

Some religious activists on Friday staged an anti-government protest inside the Lal Masjid in Islamabad, local media reports said.

world Updated: Jul 27, 2007 17:00 IST

Some religious activists on Friday staged an anti-government protest inside the Lal Masjid in Islamabad, local media reports said.

Some religious activists went into Lal Masjid on Friday, the first day when the mosque reopened for prayers after the government's operation against militants in the mosque.

The religious activists chanted anti-government slogans and stopped a government cleric from leading the prayers, according to the Dawn newspaper.

A handful of religious activists led the protest and some of them even beat TV crew and media photographers present in the mosque.

The government deployed security forces outside the mosque.

The standoff between Lal Masjid religious students and the government began July 3 when the students tried to snatch arms from security forces deployed around the mosque and triggered crossfire.

The government launched its operation against militants inside the mosque July 10 after its efforts to negotiate with them failed.

The government renovated the mosque and reopened it to the public on Friday. A children's library adjacent to the mosque was pulled down Wednesday, while the demolition of Lal Masjid's affiliated seminary Jamia Hafsa is still underway.