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Pakistan police: mob kills Sri Lankan over alleged blasphemy

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LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — A Muslim mob attacked a sports equipment factory in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province on Friday, killing a Sri Lankan man over allegations of blasphemy, police said.

Armagan Gondal, a police chief in Sialkot district where the killing occurred said that factory workers had accused the victim of desecrating posters bearing the name of Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

The Sri Lankan, Priyantha Diyawadana, was lynched by the mob inside the factory, Gondal said initial information showed.

However Gondal's district superior, Omar Saeed Malik, said police were still trying to determine what exactly prompted the mob to kill the Sri Lankan, whose body was sent to a hospital for an autopsy.

A video posted on social media showed the mob dragging the heavily bruised body of the Sri Lankan outside the factory.

Mob attacks on people accused of blasphemy are common in the Islamic nation, although such attacks on foreigners are rare.

Blasphemy carries the death penalty in Pakistan. International and domestic rights groups say that accusations of blasphemy have often been used to intimidate religious minorities and settle personal scores.

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