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Pakistan: mob burns shops, cars in Christian neighborhood

Catholic World News - April 05, 2013

A Muslim mob burned shops and cars and threw stones at a church in a Christian neighborhood in Gujranwala, a city of 2.7 million in northeastern Pakistan that was the site of anti-Christian violence in 2011. Six were wounded in the latest incident; calm was restored following police intervention.

“The spark that ignited the violence was a dispute between young Muslims and Christians which degenerated into a fight,” said Samson Salamat, director of the Centre for Human Rights Education, who told the Fides news agency that “an imam of the mosque instigated the Muslims to attack Christians.”

The Nation, a Lahore-based newspaper, reported that

some Christian youngsters of Francis Abad colony were going home Tuesday night on a motorcycle rickshaw, playing aloud religious hymns on the tape recorder. As the rickshaw approached near a local mosque, the prayer leader of the mosque along with some other Muslims demanded the youth to lower the voice. An argument over the issue was followed by a brawl.

The newspaper also reported that following the violence committed by the Muslim mob, “the Christians later staged violent protests” and that “heavy damage was also done to over a hundred shops, several motorcycles and cars” by “enraged Christian youth.”

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