Terror attacks kill 167 since Lal Masjid siege in Pakistan

By Xinhua

Islamabad : As many as 167 people were killed and over 300 injured in 21 terrorist attacks including 12 suicide bombings since the storming of the Lal Masjid in Pakistan July 4, an Interior Ministry spokesman has said.

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Addressing a press conference, Pakistani Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said the government was determined to overcome the threat of terrorism and extremism with the cooperation of the nation.

Cheema said law enforcement agencies were on high alert throughout the country to protect lives and properties of citizens and necessary measures have been taken in coordination with the provincial governments.

Troops besieged the Lal Masjid in Islamabad on July 4 after some religious students belonging to the mosque's affiliated Jamia Hafsa seminary attacked policemen deployed outside the mosque.

The security forces launched a military operation against the militants inside the Lal Masjid compound on July 10 after a talk negotiated through religious scholars failed to convince the militants to surrender. The operation ended on July 11.

Since then, escalating violence, mostly in the northwest frontier, and a series of deadly bombing attacks, has directly targeted security personnel.

A countrywide security alert has been sounded and the government has approved sending more troops to maintain law and order in the country's northwest frontier areas.