Police and witnesses said on Thursday that paramilitary soldiers had sealed off a Christian village in eastern Pakistan after a Muslim mob destroyed and set on fire numerous churches and dozens of homes after accusing two of its members of desecrating the Holy Quran.
Wednesday’s attack in Jaranwala, a part of Faisalabad’s industrial zone, went on for more than ten hours without any police involvement, according to locals and community leaders.
Police refuted the claim, stating that security officers had stopped a worsening of the circumstance. The two accused, who had left their houses, were being demanded to be turned over to the rioters. According to the locals, thousands of Muslims were brandishing iron rods, clubs, knives, and daggers while being led by local clerics during the riots, Reuters has reported.
According to a statement from the province administration, paramilitary personnel were sent in to help the police maintain control of the situation.
According to a Reuters TV cameraman, the army has walled off the Christian settlement and is using barbed wire to restrict all access and departure points.
According to the official statement, over 100 suspects of taking part in the riots have been detained, and an investigation into the event has also been launched.
“America was deeply concerned that churches and homes were targeted,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said.