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Central & South Asia

Blast hits Pakistan mosque

Peshawar explosion kills six, as protesters torch Christian neighbourhood in Lahore over blasphemy charges.
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2013 19:15
More than 3,000 Muslim protestors turned violent over derogatory remarks allegedly made by a young Christian [AFP]

A bomb blast near a mosque has killed at six least people and wounded another 28 in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar.

Saturday's explosion took place during afternoon prayers in the mosque, located in the densely populated Mohalla Baqar Shah area of Peshawar.

"We have received four dead bodies and over 20 wounded people, and the condition of two patients is very serious," Jameel Shah, a spokesman for the Lady Reading Hospital, said.

Imran Shahid, a senior local police official, said there were up to 40 people present in the mosque at the time of the explosion.

Peshawar has been a constant target of bomb blasts and Taliban attacks because it runs into a semi-autonomous tribal belt.

Lahore

The tribal belt is considered a safe haven for Taliban and other armed groups fighting both in Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan.

The attack comes just six days after a car bomb killed 50 people in a mainly Shia Muslim neighbourhood of Karachi, the fourth in a series of major attacks on the minority Shia community.

"It's a mistake on the part of one man, he deserves the punishment. Why is it our fault? What have we done? We could have been held responsible if we had done anything. This is cruel. "

- Jani Masih

More than 250 people have been killed since January 10.

Elsewhere, a mob of thousands have torched a Christian neighbourhood in Lahore after rumours of an act of blasphemy within the Christian community.

More than 3,000 Muslim protestors turned violent over derogatory remarks allegedly made by a young Christian, Sawan Masih, 28 against Prophet Muhammad in a Christian neighboorhood in Badami Bagh area.

Jani Masih, whose home in the eastern city was burned by the crowd said, "it's a mistake on the part of one man, he deserves the punishment. Why is it our fault? What have we done? We could have been held responsible if we had done anything. This is cruel."

He started crying when he described how the mob attacked innocent people.

Television footage showed houses and vehicles on fire and smoke billowing out of the ruins of several houses.

Members of the mob stood watching on the streets.

Under Pakistan law, anyone who speaks ill of Islam and the Prophet Mohammad commits a crime and faces the death
penalty.

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Source:
Agencies
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