Pak Christian boy's body found with torture marks

Samuel Yaqoob
As the furore over the arrest of a minor Christian girl over blasphemy charge is yet to die down, the body of an 11-year-old boy from the minority community, bearing torture marks, was found in Faisalabad city of Pakistan's Punjab province Wednesday, police said.

Samuel Yaqoob, a resident of the Christian Colony of Faisalabad, 100 km from Lahore, was brutally tortured before being killed.

He had been missing since the evening of August 20, when he had stepped out of his home to go to the market.

Yaqoob's burnt body was found near a drain of the Christian Colony Wednesday. His lips, nose and belly were cut off and he could hardly be recognised as his body was badly burnt, relatives said.

The boy's family recognised him from a mark on his forehead. Police sent the body for an autopsy.

Yaqoob's family and other residents of the Christian Colony staged a protest and demanded the arrest of his killers.

Asia Bibi, the boy's mother, told police that her family had no enmity with anyone in the area.

"We neither received any phone call for ransom nor were we told that Samuel had committed blasphemy," she said.

Assistant Sub-Inspector Shafiq Ahmed said police were investigating all aspects of the case.

He said Yaqoob's father died a few months ago and the family was very poor, ruling out the possibility that he was kidnapped for ransom.

"We did not receive a complaint of blasphemy. However we are investigating this aspect as well. The autopsy will tell whether the boy was sodomised," Ahmed said.

The killing came days after an 11-year-old Christian girl with Down Syndrome was arrested by police in Islamabad on a charge of blasphemy for allegedly burning pages of the Quran.

Rimsha Masih's family and dozens of Christians fled their homes due to threats from Muslims.

President Asif Ali Zardari directed the Interior Ministry to investigate the incident and to provide protection to the Christians.

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