Pakistan court sentences men to death for 2010 Ahmadiyya Mosque attack

A Pakistani Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) has sentenced two Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) men, Moavia and Abdullah, to death on Saturday for their role in a deadly attack on an Ahmadi place of worship in 2010.

Ninety-four people were killed and over 100 others were injured in the May 28, 2010 attack on two Ahmadiyya Mosques in Lahore.

The Taliban claimed responsibility. The attacks sparked more than two hours of gun battles with police and commandos. Muaviya and Abdullah were detained at the scene and two other suspects remain at large, according to officials. Gunmen later attacked the hospital where victims were being treated, killing another 12 people.

The government was heavily criticised by rights groups for failing to make progress on their trial, seeking repeated adjournments from the court.

“Accused Muaviya (who uses one name), 27, has been given the death sentence on seven counts of murder and terrorism for the attack on the Ahmadi places of worship,” prosecutor Rai Asif Mehmood told AFP.

Muaviya’s co-accused Abdullah, 21 was sentenced to death on nine counts. The men were fined three million rupees ($30,000) each, Mehmood added.

The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) hearing took place at Kot Lakhpat Jail where the convicts were held.

Ahmadis were declared non-Muslims by the Pakistani government in 1974. They are frequent victims of discrimination and violent assaults, but it is rare for militants to be convicted for attacks against them.