A woman and two children belonging to the minority Ahmadi community were killed while several others were injured when a mob torched five houses in Gujranwala over alleged blasphemy.
According to initial reports, the violence at Gujranwala’s Arafat Colony began after an Ahmadi man identified as Saqib allegedly shared a blasphemous picture on social networking website, Facebook. Angered by the alleged blasphemy, a mob led by a man identified as Ejaz gathered outside Saqib’s house and started protesting.
Meanwhile the protesters were informed that the accused and some other Ahmadis had sought refuge in the house of a doctor, identified as Sohail. The mob raided Dr Sohail’s house in search of Saqib, when according to Ejaz, the people inside opened fire on them, injuring a man named Zakariya.
According to police sources, the angry mob then set five Ahmadi houses on fire, resulting in the deaths of 30-year-old Bashiran and two minor children — eight-month-old Hira and five-year-old Kainat, while seven others including two women were injured.
Ahmadis have been arrested in Pakistan for reading the Holy Quran, holding religious celebrations and having Quranic verses on rings or wedding cards. Four years ago, 86 Ahmadis were killed in two simultaneous attacks in Lahore.