A mob of youngsters beat a Muslim man to death in Pakistan on Saturday after the victim was accused of blasphemy, police said, the latest killing in the country related to religious sensitivities.
Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where even unproven allegations can stir mobs and violence.
Hundreds of youths stormed a police station where the man was being held for his protection in the Nankana Sahib district of Punjab province, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the eastern city of Lahore.
They wounded officers and vandalised the facility before beating the man to death, police said.
Officers said the victim, in his mid-30s, was accused of desecrating the Koran, the Muslim holy book.
“The mob stormed the police station and beat the man to death,” local police spokesman Waqas Khalid told AFP.
“After killing him they tried to set his body ablaze,” he added.
Khalid said authorities were working on identifying the attackers responsible for the man’s death.
Videos shared on social media showed hundreds of youngsters besieging the police compound, with one man scaling a tall gate using a ladder and opening its lock.
The crowd then barged inside and smashed windows.
Rights groups say accusations of blasphemy are often wielded in Pakistan to settle personal vendettas, with minorities largely the targets.
In December 2021 a Sri Lankan factory manager working in the country was beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob over blasphemy accusations.
Six years ago a mob lynched university student Mashal Khan after he was accused of posting blasphemous content online.
A Christian couple were also lynched and their remains burnt in a kiln in Punjab in 2014 after being falsely accused of desecrating the Koran.