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REX/Rana Sajid Hussain
World News

Dozens arrested after Christian deaths in Pakistan

The couple were attacked by a mob of Muslims after allegations they had insulted the Islamic Holy Book were shouted from mosque loud speakers.

Shehzad 32 and his wife Shama, 24, had three children aged between 18 months old to seven years old.

The mob beat them and then burnt them alive in the Punjab province yesterday morning.

Jawad Qamar, a regional police chief, said: "We have arrested 44 people, it was a local issue incited by the mullah of a local mosque.

"No particular sectarian group or religious outfit was behind the attack."

Blasphemy allegations are sometimes used to settle personal differences in Muslim countries like Pakistan.

When cases get to court it is likely a Muslim would be believed over a Christian.

Nasir Saeed, Director of CLAAS-UK said it is "atrocious that people can take matters into their own hands and kill someone on a mere allegation."

He added: "Mob justice is becoming prevalent, despite it being the job of the police and courts to prosecute, convict and punish someone if found guilty.

"The Blasphemy law continues to be misused against minorities and Christians are the main target. It is the government's duty to take notice of the growing popularity of such incidents and pass the necessary legislation."

It's unclear when or if any of the 44 arrested will be charged or appear in court.

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