RELIGION

Pakistani police arrest Christian youth on blasphemy charges

Pakistani police say a Christian youth was arrested on blasphemy charges after he allegedly desecrated the Quran, Islam's holy book, in eastern Punjab province.

Police chief Pervez Iqbal says the teen, about 18 years of age, was seized by a mob on Aug. 12 near the town of Wazirabad. The mob wanted to "punish" him for blasphemy.

Iqbal said on Monday that the police acted swiftly and probably saved the youth from being lynched. He says the man is now awaiting trial.

Earlier this year, a student was lynched in northwestern Pakistan for blasphemy. The charge was later proven baseless.

Under Pakistan's blasphemy laws, anyone accused of insulting God, Islam or the Quran can be sentenced to death. Rights activist say the law is often misused to settle personal disputes.