Pakistan: Mob burns churches over blasphemy claims

PAKISTAN: Thousands of Muslims in a city in Pakistan have set fire to at least four churches and vandalised the homes of Christians over claims that two men desecrated the Quran, police say.

Residents said up to a dozen buildings connected to churches in Jaranwala, in eastern Punjab, were also damaged.

Police have detained more than 100 protestors and launched an investigation into the violence.

Authorities say the situation remains tense, but say no deaths were reported.

Police have also filed a case against two local Christian residents for violation of the blasphemy law, which carries the death sentence.

Even though Pakistan has yet to sentence anyone to death for blasphemy, a mere accusation can result in widespread riots, causing lynchings and killings

Two years ago, a Sri Lankan man accused of blasphemy was killed by an enraged mob and had his body set on fire. In 2009, a mob burned down about 60 homes and killed six people in the Gorja district in Punjab, after accusing them of insulting Islam.

 

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