A 70-year-old British national, sentenced to death in Pakistan for committing blasphemy, is being treated in hospital after he was shot and wounded in prison, officials said.

Mohammad Asghar, a Scottish man of Pakistani origin, was convicted in January for claiming to be a prophet of Islam.

Asghar, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in the UK in 2010, had declared his prophethood in court and included a reference to it on his business card, a government prosecutor said at the time of his trial.

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Abdul Majeed, a police official at the Saddar police station in Rawalpindi told the AFP news agency, "A prison official in his early twenties transported an illegal weapon inside the prison this morning and shot an inmate."

Majeed added that the accused was in custody and would face charges for attempted murder and possession of an illegal weapon.

A doctor at the hospital where Asghar was first brought said: "One patient was brought here who had been shot from the back and the bullet has crossed his body affecting his ribs and lungs."

"He is out of danger now," he added.

The British High Commission in Islamabad - the de facto embassy - confirmed the prison shooting of a national and said it was providing consular assistance.

Asghar's family in January urged the British government to intervene to bring him home, saying he had attempted suicide in jail.

They also said the allegations against Asghar stemmed from a property dispute with one of his tenants.

Source: Agencies