Pakistani security forces fought fierce gun battles with students at a pro-Taliban mosque in Islamabad on Tuesday after a lengthy standoff exploded into violence, leaving 12 people dead and 140 hurt.
Clerics from the radical Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, vowed suicide attacks to avenge the "blood of martyrs" after the day-long clashes. The victims included a soldier, a journalist, at least four students and several bystanders.
The shootout in the heart of the leafy capital followed months of tension over the mosque's challenges to the authority of President Pervez Musharraf, most recently the kidnapping of seven Chinese as part of an anti-vice campaign.
Deputy interior minister Zafar Warriach told reporters that nine people were killed and 140 wounded in the violence. Hospitals in the city later said that another three people had died, confirming that the overall toll was 12.
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