Pakistan: Acid thrown over women in ‘blasphemy’ attack on village

An angry mob petrol-bombed homes and threw acid over Christian women, after mosque loudspeakers accused the Christians of blasphemy.
 
The attack took place on 30 June at Bahmani village in the district of Kasur, in Punjab. Partners of Release International, which serves persecuted Christians, say a mob looted and burned the houses of Christians.
 
Lawyers told Release International that one of the victims of the acid attack was Noreen, a young teenage girl. She was taking a bath when a petrol bomb was hurled through the window.
 
“After she ran naked from the room a Muslim boy threw acid on her,” said Katherine Sapna from CLAAS (the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement). “The acid burnt her back and a little went on her face.”
 
Noreen was so distressed that she later tried to kill herself. “She threw petrol on her body and tried to set her self on fire,” said Ms Sapna, “but a team from CLAAS was able to stop her.”
 
Nine women and girls had to be treated for acid burns, while another four children were also injured in the attack, which left many villagers traumatised. The attackers also destroyed water pumps, leaving the villagers without running water.
 
“Everything in their houses has been damaged,” said Ms Sapna. “The villagers have no food to eat and no water.”
 
Release partners CLAAS and Sharing Life Ministries Pakistan (SLMP) are attending to the villagers. CLAAS have arranged medical treatment for the injured and have provided food, and have called on the local authorities to provide water.
 
“Release is deeply concerned about the growing number of attacks against Christians in Pakistan,” says Release CEO Andy Dipper. “Extremists are deliberately trying to drive a wedge between communities, and it is becoming an increasingly dangerous place for the Christian minority.
 
“Please pray for Christians in Bahmani, especially Noreen and the other women and girls who have been traumatised by this acid attack and the destruction of their homes.”
 
The attack in Bahmani took place after a quarrel broke out between a Christian and a Muslim in the village which then escalated, according to SLMP.

(Photo: Release International)

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