ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) — Cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi, the leader at the center of the week-long Red Mosque siege in Islamabad, has been killed, Pakistan’s Interior
Ministry told CNN.
Ghazi’s body was recovered shortly after he was killed in an exchange of fire
between Pakistani forces and militants holed up in the mosque, the ministry said.
The ongoing operation began around 16 hours ago after talks to end the siege
CNN’s Syed Mohsin Naqvi said, according to police sources, 68 women and
children have left the compound so far and are safe but that hundreds more remain inside.
“After 11 hours of negotiations, we are deeply disappointed that the talks did not succeed,” Hussain said, adding that Abdul Rashid Ghazi — the cleric leading the stand
-off inside — said “no” to every offer from the government.