US 'deeply concerned' about church attacks in Pakistan
'We urge Pakistani authorities to conduct a full investigation into these allegations and call for calm,' State Department spokesman says
By Iclal Turan
WASHINGTON (AA) - The US said Wednesday it is "deeply concerned" after two churches in Pakistan were targeted after the holy Quran was allegedly desecrated.
State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters that the US supports the "peaceful" freedom of expression but "incidents of religiously motivated violence, violence or the threat of violence is never an acceptable form of expression."
"We urge Pakistani authorities to conduct a full investigation into these allegations and call for calm," he said.
Authorities in Pakistan deployed paramilitary forces to restore law and order after an angry mob attacked multiple churches and clashed Wednesday with police in Jaranwala tehsil of Faisalabad in the northeast Punjab province.
Multiple churches have been set on fire in the central-eastern region, Bishop Majeed Able told Anadolu.
“Churches, including the Salvation Army Church, United Presbyterian Church, Allied Foundation Church and Shehroonwala Church, have been vandalized and some of them set on fire in the area,” he said.
Several people got injured in the fighting. Negotiations started between authorities and protesters which led to a de-escalation of the situation.
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