Man beaten to death in Koran fury

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Thousands of people dragged a Pakistani man accused of desecrating Islam’s holy book from a police station, beat him to death and set his body on fire.

The incident happened on Tuesday in Bahawalpur, a city in a deeply conservative part of central Pakistan, after attackers stormed a police station where the man was being interrogated.

Senior police officer Mohammed Azhar Gujar yesterday said the victim seemed mentally unstable. He was arrested after residents said he threw pages of the Koran into the street.

While the man was being questioned, some people used mosque loudspeakers to urge residents to go to the police station and punish him.

Within hours, thousands gathered outside and demanded the man be handed over. Police tried to protect him, but the mob turned violent.

They burned several police vehicles and wounded seven officers before and dragging the man into the street, where he was beaten to death and his body set on fire.

Gujar said the mob also attacked the house of a police chief. It was unclear whether the man was Muslim or followed another religion.