Three people, including two children, have been killed in the Pakistani city of Gujranwala following an attack by a violent mob. The victims, all of whom belonged to the minority Ahmadiyya sect of Islam, were killed after protests broke out over an alleged derogatory Facebook post by a teenager from the Ahmadiyya community, reports Reuters.
The three people who have been killed included an elderly woman and her two granddaughters. The two young victims were a 7-year-old girl and an infant whose age has not been verified. The trio were reportedly burnt to death after the protesting mob set several houses on fire. The houses belonged to people belonging to the Ahmadiyya sect.
The incident, according to Reuters, started after a 17-year-old boy who was later identified as Aqib Salim posted material that was allegedly of blasphemous nature on his Facebook page. Upon seeing the post, his Facebook acquaintance and friend named Saddam Hussain was infuriated and he demanded Aqib to take down the post.
Their online fight went physical after the two met and started a scuffle on the street. However, the minor fight quickly went out of control after other extremist muslims in the area became aware of the blasphemous post and started protesting against it as well. After the protests turned violent, their anger was directed at other members of the minority Ahmadiyya community, reports The News. The mob began to set fire to houses that belong to people from the Ahmadiyya sect. There are also reports that people fired at residents of the Ahmaddiya homes as well.
According to a police officer investigating the incident, over 150 people also thronged the local police station demanding that they arrest the teenager who posted the “blasphemous” material. It was during the negotiations with the police that some members of the mob started becoming violent.
Meanwhile, witnesses said that the attackers also looted and plundered the homes of the Ahmadiyya people. They took away furniture from the homes and set them on fire. Policemen who were on the scene were mute spectators to the event.
According to Salim ud Din, a spokesman for the Ahmadiyya community, the latest attack and act of violence against Ahmadiyyas is the worst attack against the community since 2010. He also alleged that the Ahmadiyya’s are widely discriminated upon by Pakistan. In fact, they are not recognized as Muslims and are banned from using Muslim greetings, prayers and calling their places of worship, mosques. Earlier this year, a Canadian doctor from the Ahmadiyya community was shot dead in Pakistan.
[Image Via Indiatimes ]