Pakistani officer kills detained man with axe, says he committed blasphemy during questioning



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ISLAMABAD — Pakistani police say an axe-wielding officer killed a Shiite man in police custody, claiming he had committed blasphemy by insulting companions of the Prophet Muhammad.

Officer Mukhtar Ahmed says the incident took place at a police station in the city of Gujrat in eastern Punjab province early Thursday.

Ahmed says the killer, officer Sarfraz Naveed, was questioning Syed Tufail Hyder who was detained Wednesday following a street fight.

Ahmed says Naveed killed Hyder with an axe, gave himself up and said he did it because Hyder allegedly repeatedly insulted companions of the Prophet during questioning.

Thursday's incident came days after a Muslim mob killed a Christian couple and burned their bodies in a brick kiln where the man and his wife worked, claiming they had allegedly desecrated the Quran.

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