Dozens killed in Pakistani mosque attacks

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Dozens killed in Pakistani mosque attacks

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Attacks on two mosques in the Pakistani city of Lahore are now said to have killed at least 80 people, and injured more than a hundred.

The gunmen took hostages from a minority religious group and fired at police from the roof of one of the buildings.

Security forces are said to have taken control of both mosques but some militants who escaped are still being hunted.

Using assault rifles and grenades they attacked worshippers shortly after Friday prayers.

After a two-hour gunfight, police said they had taken control of one of the mosques, captured two of the assailants and killed another.

The attacks happened in two residential districts of Lahore, Pakistan’s cultural capital. The death toll in one was higher because three attackers blew themselves up when police tried to enter the building.

The targets were Ahmadis, a religious minority described as a sect in Pakistan, and declared by the authorities to be non-Muslims. Observers say the Ahmadis have seen their religious rights curtailed by law, and some militants consider them to be infidels.

A group known as the TTP Punjab has claimed responsibility for the attacks but the Pakistani Taliban is also suspected.