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Pakistani Police Rescue Dozens Of Students Chained In Islamic Seminary

A young student cries after being rescued following a police raid on a madrasah in Karachi on December 12.
Police in southern Pakistan have found dozens of students chained and held in the basement of an Islamic seminary.

Police officials said police rescued 45 students, some of them aged 20 or younger, late on December 12 in a raid on a seminary near Karachi.

At least one cleric was arrested, but several others managed to escape.

Madrasah officials claimed the students were chained because they were drug addicts and they wanted to rehabilitate them and make them better Muslims.

Some of the students said they had been tortured and that organizers wanted to train them as jihadist fighters.

Police have opened an investigation.

Some of the thousands of Islamic schools in Pakistan are accused of training militants and supporting extremist groups, with some dispatching fighters to Afghanistan.

compiled from agency reports