Riot In Pakistan And Sri Lanka Over Mob Killing In Alleged Blasphemy

A brutal mob killing of a Sri Lankan man accused of blasphemy in Pakistan has sparked protests in both countries, with Pakistan’s leader condemning the vigilante violence.

Priyantha Diyawadanage, 48, a factory manager in the city of Sialkot, was beaten to death on Friday and his body set alight.

Videos of the lynching proliferated across social media over the weekend, and showed scenes of the incensed crowd dragging Mr Diyawadanage from his workplace and beating him to death.

They then burnt his body, and several people in the crowd were seen taking selfies with his corpse.

The violence had begun after rumours spread that Mr Diyawadanage had allegedly committed a blasphemous action, in tearing down posters with the name of the Prophet Muhammad, local police chiefs said.

More than 100 people have been arrested so far, said Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan, describing incident as a “Day of Shame” for his country.

Blasphemy is a highly charged crime in Pakistan, where even unfounded accusations can incite protests and mob violence against alleged perpetrators.

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