Hundreds attend Pakistani sect funerals

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Hundreds attend Pakistani sect funerals

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Hundreds of people have attended the funerals in Pakistan of members of a minority Islamic sect killed in attacks on two mosques.

Friends and families of the victims – who numbered more than 80 – gathered at the main graveyard at the Ahmadi headquarters, a day after the atrocity in Lahore.

Militants stormed the mosques shortly after Friday prayers, killing indiscriminately.

“This is an extremely cruel and barbaric incident which has not only caused great loss to the Ahmadi sect, but also harmed the country’s image,” said mourner Mubasshir Mehmood. “This is the kind of violence which is an act of extreme brutality no matter from what angle you look at it.”

Pakistan is the only Islamic state to have declared Ahmadis non-Muslims. They follow all Islamic rituals but have beliefs considered unorthodox among Muslims.

Members have often been attacked but yesterday’s violence was the first time mosques had suffered such a coordinated assault.

The militants took people hostage and used guns and grenades. Several blew themselves up; two were arrested after being overpowered by worshippers; another was killed by police who stormed the building.

The attackers’ identities have not been confirmed but the Pakistani Taliban is strongly suspected.