Finland closes embassy in Islamabad

Updated: 2007-07-10 01:05

Finland has temporarily closed its embassy in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, the Finnish foreign ministry said Monday.

The Finnish embassy has been closed because of the deteriorating security situation in Islamabad, the ministry said.

The embassy is located close to the compound of the Red Mosque, which is being held by Islamist militants in defiance of government orders to surrender.

The Pakistani government sent Monday a 13-member delegation to Lal Masjid mosque in a bid to resolve peacefully the standoff between the government and militants, a Pakistani TV channel reported.

Monday marks the seventh day of the standoff between Lal Masjid militants and the government, which started Tuesday when students from the mosque snatched arms and wireless sets from the police. Pakistani government officials confirmed that 22 people have been killed and around 100 have suffered injuries in clashes so far.

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