Pakistan security forces have carried out a co-ordinated attack on Islamabad's Red Mosque, on the fourth day of a stand-off with radical Islamic clerics and students.
President Pervez Musharraf has held back from a full assault as he said to be is anxious to avoid casualties among women and girls still inside the complex.
The government is piling psychological pressure on those still inside with a mass demonstration of force demanding unconditional surrender.
However, after offers of a conditional surrender the most senior cleric at the mosque now says he and his followers would rather die than lay down their arms.
Officials have accused the Islamists of using women and children as human shields. Outside the building fearful family members queue to greet loved ones if and when they exit.
Residents living in the area surrounding the mosque have watched anxiously as the siege has unfolded.