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Cleric of Besieged Pakistani Mosque Caught Trying to Escape in Burqa


Pakistani officials say the head of a besieged radical mosque in Pakistan has been detained while trying to flee, disguised in a burqa.

Security forces seized Abdul Aziz as he tried to leave the Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, on Wednesday in a crowd of women wearing similar attire.

More than one thousand of his followers surrendered to authorities today. But some supporters remained holed up in the mosque.

The government ordered militants to lay down their arms or face further attacks. Pakistani troops have sealed off the area around the mosque and have imposed a curfew in Islamabad.

At least 11 people were killed in clashes with security forces Tuesday.

Clerics and students have been challenging the government with demands for strict Islamic law.

Pakistani officials say those killed Tuesday included a soldier, a cameraman and four students. More than 80 other people were wounded.

Authorities say the fighting erupted when students from the mosque, many with bamboo clubs and handguns, rushed toward a security post.
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