Villager accused of burning Islam's holy book shot dead in Pakistan

A gunman shot and killed a man in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, a day after his family and some residents accused him of burning Islam's holy book, police said.

The victim, a 30-year-old Muslim, was first stoned near a police station by several angry villagers and then a gunman shot him dead at Cherat, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) east of Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province, said Abdul Razzaq, a local police official.

He said the incident occurred a day after the man's family and some residents told police that the man had burned the Quran, Islam's holy book. "We registered a case against him Tuesday, but he was shot dead today before we could arrest him," Razzaq said.

"Now we are trying to arrest those people who attacked or killed him."

Under Pakistan's harsh blasphemy laws, anyone who insults the Quran, Islam or its prophet Muhammad can be punished by death. Muslims make up about 97 percent of Pakistan's 150 million population. The rest are mostly Christian.


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