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Monday, July 28, 2014

Pakistan Mob Kills Woman And 2 Girls Over 'Blasphemous' Facebook Post


(Reuters) - A Pakistani mob 

killed a woman member of a 

religious sect and two of 

her granddaughters after a 

sect member was accused of posting 

blasphemous material on Facebook, police said Monday, the 

latest instance of growing violence against minorities.

The dead, including a seven-year-old girl and her baby 

sister, were Ahmadis, who consider themselves Muslim but 

believe in a prophet after Mohammed. A 1984 Pakistani law 

declared them non-Muslims and many Pakistanis consider 

them heretics.

Police said the late Sunday violence in the town of 

Gujranwala, 220 km (140 miles) southeast of the capital, 

Islamabad, started with an altercation between young men, 

one of whom was an Ahmadi accused of posting 

"objectionable material".

"Later, a crowd of 150 people came to the police station 

demanding the registration of a blasphemy case against the 

accused," said one police officer who declined to be 


"As police were negotiating with the crowd, another mob 

attacked and started burning the houses of Ahmadis."

The youth accused of making the Facebook post had not 

been injured, he said.

Resident Munawar Ahmed, 60, said he drove terrified 

neighbors to safety as the mob attacked.

"The attackers were looting and plundering, taking away 

fans and whatever valuables they could get hold of and 

dragging furniture into the road and setting fire to it... Some 

were continuously firing into the air," he said.

"A lot of policemen arrived but they stayed on the sidelines 

and didn't intervene," he said.

The police officer said they had tried to stop the mob.

Salim ud Din, a spokesman for the Ahmadi community, said 

it was the worst attack on the community since simultaneous 

attacks on Ahmadi places of worship killed 86 Ahmadis four 

years ago.

Under Pakistani law, Ahmadis are banned from using 

Muslim greetings, saying Muslim prayers or referring to his 

place of worship as a mosque.

Accusations of blasphemy are rocketing in Pakistan, from 

one in 2011 to at least 68 last year, according to the Human 

Rights Commission of Pakistan. About 100 people have been 

accused of blasphemy this year.

Human rights workers say the accusations are increasingly 

used to settle personal vendettas or to grab the property of 

the accused. (Additional reporting, writing by Katharine 

Houreld; Editing by Robert Birsel)
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