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Pakistani Police Officer Kills Blasphemy Suspect With Axe

Pakistani Christian protesters carry wooden crosses and a casket to condemn the killing of a Christian couple for alleged blasphemy in the Punjab province this week.

A Pakistani police officer has killed a man arrested on blasphemy allegations.

Officials say Tufail Haidar was arrested in the city of Gujrat in the eastern province of Punjab on November 5 for making derogatory remarks about the companions of the Prophet Muhammad.

Assistant Sub-Inspector Faraz Naveed struck Haidar with an axe early on November 6 after the detainee, a member of the Shi’ite Muslim minority, continued to make insulting comments, police said.

They said Naveed has been arrested and legal proceedings have begun.

Blasphemy is a highly sensitive issue in the majority Sunni Muslim country, with even unproven allegations often prompting mob violence.

The axe attack came a day after a Christian couple was lynched in Punjab after they were accused of desecrating the Koran.

Rights activists have urged Pakistan to repeal blasphemy laws, arguing they are often used to settle personal disputes.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa