The dead, including four women and a child, were killed when Christian homes were torched by hundreds of supporters of a banned Muslim organisation in the Punjabi village of Gojra, in eastern Pakistan.
Tensions have been running high between the two communities over allegations that Christians had defiled pages from the Muslim holy book, despite authorities insisting that the rumours were unfounded.
Television footage from the area showed houses burning and streets strewn with debris and blackened furniture as mobs ran at each other. There were reports in the local media of exchanges of gunfire between Christian and Muslim communities and that rioters had blocked a railway line.
Pakistani authorities named the Muslim group involved in the violence as Sipah-e-Sahaba, which has been accused of launching attacks against security forces and carrying out bomb attacks in public places in recent years.
Complete from here: The Observer
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