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Muslim cleric accused of blasphemy killed in Pak

Associated Press, USA
Sep. 10, 2003 • Wednesday September 10, 2003

LAHORE: Gunmen killed a Muslim cleric who was facing a trial for allegedly insulting Islam‘s prophet, Muhammad, police said on Sunday.

Maulana Sanullah Dogar, 38, died instantly when four attackers shot him on Saturday near a court in the town of Kasur, about 45 km southeast of Lahore, said Babar Bajwa, a deputy superintendent of police.

Dogar was released on bail about five months ago after being arrested in 2002 when another cleric reported to police that he had allegedly “used abusive words” against the Prophet Muhammad, Bajwa said.

Under Pakistani laws, insulting the Quran, Islam’s holy book, or Muhammad are considered blasphemous and can carry a death sentence on conviction.

It was not known exactly what Dogar said.

Dogar, who belonged to a small political party of Sunni Muslims, Jamaat Ahle-Sunnat, or the Party of Followers of Sayings of Muhammad, was walking to the court for an appearance in connection with the trial when he was attacked, Bajwa said.

No arrests have been made.

Domestic and international human rights groups have criticised Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

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