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Pakistan

Christian inmate jailed for lynching suspected terrorists dies

Church people say most of the 42 Pakistani Christians arrested for the crime in 2015 are innocent

Published: August 17, 2017 05:00 PM GMT

Updated: August 18, 2017 10:16 AM GMT

Christian inmate jailed for lynching suspected terrorists dies

Pakistani Christian's protest in Lahore on Sept. 24, 2013, against the suicide bombing of a church in Peshawar. A devastating double suicide attack on a church in northwest Pakistan has triggered fears among the country's beleaguered Christian community that they will be targeted in a fresh wave of Islamist violence. (Photo by AFP) 

A Christian who was arrested for the lynching deaths of two men mistaken as terrorists in the aftermath of deadly suicide attacks on two churches in Pakistan's Punjab province has died in prison.

At least 15 people were killed and scores of others were injured when Taliban's bombers blew themselves up during Sunday Mass at two churches — one Catholic, the other Protestant  — in Lahore in 2015. The attack led to mob violence and the killing two men mistaken by protestors as terrorists.

Inderyas Masih, 36, one of 42 Christians, rounded up police, put on trial under stringent terrorism laws and was convicted, was found dead Aug. 13 in jail. Church people maintain that most of those in prison were arbitrarily arrested were not even identified in the camera which filmed the lynching incident.

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Masih's family has for long denied his involvement in the killing. "My uncle was in another city the day the Taliban attacked our churches. He was arrested by plain-clothes police men 15-days later," Shazeel Anjum, Masih's nephew told ucanews. com.

Police claimed the basis for Masih's arrest and conviction was because he owned a T-shirt like what which was seen being used by someone in a news report of the lynching.

"We had been circling the hospital and police station for days to get the dead body. We even heard some police constables joking who's next?" said Anjum.

Police say Masih succumbed to tuberculosis.

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