Qur'an riots rock Pakistan city

At least 3 000 protesters enraged by the alleged desecration of the Qur'an clashed with police and torched two cinemas in Pakistan's second largest city Lahore, police said on Wednesday.

Qur'an riots rock Pakistan city

The city, which is the capital of Punjab province, was tense after the mob rampaged through a poor neighbourhood overnight and also smashed up dozens of vehicles, local police officer Mohammad Abbas told AFP.

The trouble erupted late on Tuesday when copies of the Muslim holy book were found lying in a drain in the Bhatta chowk area on the fringes of the sprawling city, located near the Indian border.

"The news of the desecration of the Qur'an spread quickly in the neighbourhood and within no time some three to four thousand people took to the streets shouting slogans against the desecration," Abbas said.

He said the crowd armed with bamboo sticks turned violent, setting fire to two cinema houses and attacking public and private properties.

"Police used a mild baton charge to restore order, but the situation is very tense," he said.

Abbas said police have registered a case against unknown people under the country's blasphemy laws.

The violent protest came amid ongoing outrage in Pakistan and other Muslim countries over the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in European newspapers.

Police are already out in force across Pakistan for the Muslim holy month of Muharram, when the minority Shi'ite community mourns the death of Muhammad's grandson, officials said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16