Lahore, Pakistan: Terrorists attacked worshippers from a minority sect in two areas of the northeastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Friday, government and police officials said, but there was no immediate word about casualties.
The terrorists opened fire shortly after Friday prayers and threw what could have been grenades at two Ahmadi mosques in residential neighbourhoods in Pakistan’s cultural capital.
Some terrorists were still holed up inside one mosque in Model Town, one of the neighbourhoods, police said.
“Some gunmen have managed to enter the worship place. We have surrounded it. I have no idea of casualties,” Illyas Saleem, a senior police officer in Model Town, told Reuters.
Witnesses said the attacks started shortly after prayers.
“I saw some gunmen run towards the Ahmadis’ place of worship and then I heard blasts and gunfire,” Mohammad Nawaz, a resident, told Reuters.
Ahmadis are a minority Muslim sect founded in the late 19th century. Pakistan is the only Muslim state to have declared Ahmadis non-Muslims.
Its 4 million-odd members have seen their religious rights in overwhelmingly Muslim Pakistan curtailed by law.
Pakistan, a key US ally in the fight against militancy, is often the scene of sectarian violence, with militants from Sunni Muslim groups attacking Shi’ite Muslim and Christian communities.