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Mob In Pakistan Torches Christian Homes

A mob in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore has burned more than 50 houses of Christians over a blasphemy row.

Police official Multan Khan said some 3,000 Muslim protesters turned violent over derogatory remarks against the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.

Police and rescue officials said that the houses were burned in Joseph Colony, an impoverished Christian neighborhood in Lahore's populous Badami Bagh area.

He said that police took a young Christian sanitary worker into custody on March 8 after some of his Muslim friends said he had made blasphemous remarks.

Blasphemy is a serious crime in Pakistan and can carry the death penalty as punishment.

Pakistan's religious minorities have campaigned for repealing the blasphemy laws claiming they are used to persecute them.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP