RELIGION

Pakistanis attack mosque of religious minority

Pakistani officials says thousands of Sunni Muslims marking the Prophet Muhammad's birthday have attacked a mosque belonging to the Ahmadi religious minority, wounding several people.

Mahmood Javed Bhatti, deputy commissioner of the Chakwal district, just outside Islamabad, says the mob hurled stones and bricks at the mosque on Monday before storming the building, adding that gunmen opened fire on Ahmadis in the area.

Rashid Ahmad, a local police official, says the mob set fire to part of the mosque.

Bhatti says police have dispersed the crowd and secured the building.

Pakistan's parliament declared Ahmadis non-Muslims in 1974, and they have repeatedly been targeted by Islamic extremists.

The Ahmadi faith was established in the Indian subcontinent in the 19th century by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, whose followers believe he was a prophet.