MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) — A sixteen-year-old Muslim youth opened fire on Friday and killed a member of Pakistan’s minority Ahmadi community in eastern Punjab province, police and the community’s spokesman said.
The shooting came as a group of Ahmadis were gathered for worship at a home in the district of Sanghla Hill, local police chief Malik Shamshair said. The attacker, Mohammad Mohab, was arrested, the police chief said.
The slain main, Tahir Ahmad, 31, was a homeopathic doctor. Three other Ahmadi men were wounded in the shooting, including the doctor’s father whose condition was described as critical.
According to Shamshair, the teen said he opened fire at the Ahmadis because they were insulting Islam.
Saleem Uddin, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Ahmadi community, condemned the attack and said the members of their community were targeted because of their faith. The Ahmadis have failed to get adequate protection from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government amid a surge in attacks in recent years, he said.
The Ahmadi faith was established on the Indian subcontinent in the 19th century by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, whose followers believe he was a prophet.
Pakistan’s parliament declared Ahmadis non-Muslims in 1974. Since then, Ahmadis have repeatedly been targeted by Islamic extremists in this Muslim majority nation in attacks that have drawn condemnation from human right groups.