Police in Pakistan say they have arrested as many as 45 Muslims in connection with the killing of a Christian couple for allegedly desecrating the Quran.

Local police officer Mohammad Iqbal says the arrests were made before dawn Wednesday in the town of Kot Radha Kishan in the eastern Punjab province. He says hundreds of Muslims took part in the attack on Tuesday, in which a mob killed the couple and burnt their bodies in a brick kiln where the man and his wife worked.

He says the attackers accused the couple of desecrating the Quran.

Under Pakistan's harsh blasphemy laws, anyone convicted of insulting Islam or the Prophet Muhammad can be sentenced to death. However, the laws are often misused to settle personal scores and target minorities.