Lahore, 27 Jumadil Awwal 1436/18 March 2015 (MINA) – Pakistani police on Monday used tear gas and water cannons to disperse clashes between Christian protesters and Muslims in the northeastern city of Lahore.
Frustrated Christians were demonstrating after 16 people were killed Sunday in twin suicide bombings outside two churches during weekly prayer services.
The protesters had blocked roads and reportedly clashed with other citizens, according to local media, Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
The epicenter of the clashes was in Youhanabad, a low-income suburb of Lahore with a large Christian population and the target of Sunday’s suicide bombings.
Groups of Muslims reportedly organized in reaction to attacks on passers-by, leading to clashes between the two sides.
The bishop of Lahore, Irfan Jameel, appealed to all to show restraint and avoid violence.
“Those who are damaging public and private properties and torturing common citizens are doing no favor to Christianity,” said Jameel in an appeal issued through local media.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki strongly condemned Sunday’s attack, and called for universal rights to be respected.
“We support the right of every person to practice religion without fear of intimidation, death, coercion or any form of reprisal. This is a basic human right both in Pakistan and throughout the world,” she said. (T/P001/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)