'Drunken row' sparked Pakistan anti-Christian riot, 150 arrested
LAHORE (AFP) - A drunken row between two friends was the trigger for blasphemy allegations that prompted a mob of angry Pakistani Muslim protesters to burn more than 100 Christian homes, police and witnesses said.
More than 3,000 Muslims rampaged through Joseph Colony, a Christian area of the eastern city of Lahore, on Saturday after allegations that a Christian had made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed three days earlier.
Police have arrested around 150 people, police said Sunday as Christians rallied against the destruction. The Christian demonstrators blocked a main highway in Lahore and police fired tear gas shells to disperse the protesters who demanded assistance from the government.
Sawan Masih, a Christian sanitary worker, was arrested on Friday after his Muslim friend Shahid Imran complained he had made blasphemous remarks about the prophet. The arrest prompted many Christians to flee, fearing a backlash.