Five from Pakistani Ahmadi Sect Killed in Mob Attack
Five Pakistanis from the minority Ahmadi sect were killed in an attack by a mob angry at the kidnapping of a Sunni Muslim leader, officials said Saturday.
The incident occurred late Friday at Takht Hazara village near the city of Sargodha in central Punjab province, about 272 kilometers (170 miles) south of here, a senior local administration official Yousuf Naseem Khokar said.
Deputy commissioner Khokar told AFP about a thousand people attacked the Bait al-Zkir (house of prayer) of Ahmadis to free a local leader of the Majlis Khatam-e-Nabuwat group from the sect's custody.
Maulvi Athar Shah had been detained by Ahmadis for inciting people against the sect in the village, he said.
"The angry mob of Muslims raided the Bait al-Zikr to secure the release of Maulvi Athar Shah. They attacked all those inside the building with sticks, stones and hatchets," Khokar said.
Five Ahmadis were killed and a dozen attackers were injured as those inside fought back before the police arrived at the scene, he said.
The official said the Khatam-e-Nabuwat group leader was seriously injured and taken to a hospital in another city, Faisalabad.
No one from the Ahmadi sect was available for comment.
Residents said tension was high in Takht Hazara, home to an estimated 10,000 people, including around 4,000 Ahmadis.
Khokar said security had been tightened in the area with police guarding the house of worship and homes of the minority sect.
Ahmadis, also known as Qadianis, were declared a non-Muslim minority by the Pakistani parliament in 1973 for their belief Mohammad might not be the last prophet. They remain a target of criticism by hardline Muslim groups.
The sect, numbering a few millions, has its spiritual headquarters at Rabwah in Sargodha district in Punjab.
Last week five Ahmadis were killed and 10 injured when three unidentified gunmen opened fire at an Ahmadi congregation in Sialkot district in the province -- MULTAN (AFP)
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