At Least 98 Killed in Lahore Mosque Attacks

Militants Target Minority Ahmadiyya Mosques

The Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan today attacked a pair of Ahmadiyya mosques in the city of Lahore, killing at least 98 people and leaving some 100 others wounded.

The Ahmadiyya are a harshly persecuted minority in Pakistan, which is not even recognized as officially Muslim by the government. The movement was founded in the late 19th century with the belief that their founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was the second coming of Christ and that universal conversion to Islam and the end of the world were at hand. In Pakistan the Ahmadiyya are forbidden from preaching in public, publishing material, or seeking converts.

The attacks occurred during Friday prayers as the mosques were filled, and TTP spokesmen quickly took credit. Attackers with AK47s and hand grenades attacked both mosques, and some of the attackers had climbed the rooftops of nearby buildings to target fleeing worshippers and arriving security forces.

Among the casualties, two police were slain in the attack and seven were wounded, only one of the attackers, a man in a suicide vest, was captured, while five others were slain. It is unknown how many attackers there were overall.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.