73 bodies were recovered on Wednesday from within the Lal Masjid
mosque complex after the fighting subsided, the military said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said that
operations against militants inside the mosque had ended
Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad further briefed the
press and revealed that 10 commandos had been killed and 33 injured
during the major firefight lasting one and a half days in
Islamabad. He added that all the retrieved bodies had been given to
civil authorities for identification.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz spoke to foreign
reporters and said that casualties during the operation had been
less than expected, with no bodies of women or children being found
Aziz also invited journalists to tour the mosque after it was
He also disclosed that last-minute negotiations with the mosque
leaders had broken down on July 10 when deputy chief of the mosque
Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi set safe passage for his "foreign
friends" as a deal-breaker.
"The government made it clear that every one will have to go
through the law and if identified as militants the law would take
its course," he said, adding that the operation was launched
immediately after the talks collapsed.
Heavy security was still in place around the compound with
reporters kept back but a curfew in the neighborhood was
temporarily lifted on Wednesday afternoon, a tentative sign that
things may soon return to normal.
(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily via agencies July 12,