80 killed in terror attacks in Lahore

ByASSOCIATED PRESS
May 28, 2010 13:57

Pakistan gunmen seize 2 mosques belonging to minority Ahmadi sect.




Police take cover from militants.

311_Pakistan terror. (photo credit:ASSOCIATED PRESS)

LAHORE, Pakistan — Terrorists attacked two mosques packed with hundreds of worshippers from a minority sect in eastern Pakistan on Friday. Over 80 people were killed and dozens wounded in the worst ever attack against the Ahmadi sect.

The assaults in Lahore were carried out by at least seven men, including three suicide bombers, officials said. Two attackers were captured. At one point, a gunman fired bullets from atop a minaret.

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Ahmadis are reviled as heretics by mainstream Muslims for their belief that their sect's founder was a savior foretold by the Quran, Islam's holy book.


Muslim leaders have accused Ahmadis of defying the basic tenet of Islam that says Mohammed was the final prophet, but Ahmadis argue their leader was the savior rather than a prophet.

Under pressure from hard-liners, the Pakistani government in the 1970s declared the Ahmadis a non-Muslim minority. They are prohibited from calling themselves Muslims or engaging in Muslim practices such as reciting Islamic prayers.

A US-based Ahmadi spokesman, Waseem Sayed, said the sect abhors violence and was deeply concerned about the attacks. He estimated Pakistan, a country of 180 million, had around 5 million Ahmadis.

Worldwide he estimated there were tens of millions of Ahmadis, but said that they have faced the most violence in Pakistan, and that this was the worst attack in the history of the sect.

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