By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) - Pakistan’s police detained six suspects after armed Muslims opened fire on Christians killing two brothers and injuring others in a water dispute in Punjab province, Christians said Wednesday.
Yaqoob Masih reportedly died at the scene as he and his four brothers were among those being attacked while irrigating their fields in Punjab’s Okara region.
Their brother Haroon died from his injuries in hospital, Christians said. Three other brothers, Zakir, Nusrat, and Babar, were said to be stable in hospital on Wednesday.
Several other Christians were wounded in the October 9 incident, but their status was not immediately apparent.
Police drew up a so-called First Information Report required to launch criminal procedures against twelve Muslim men whose names were given to them by a witness to the shootings, Worthy News learned.
Six were detained, but it wasn’t clear when and if the other suspects could expect arrest.
As their loved ones plunged into mourning, human rights activist Asif Munawar noted that the local Christian community was frightened.
Munawar visited the site of the shooting and attended the funeral. He said in published remarks that Christian residents have urged “the government of Pakistan to be better protected as a religious minority and that the culprits be arrested as soon as possible.”
The attack came just months after eight Christians suffered fractured bones when a mob of around 200 Muslims reportedly attacked the small Christian community of Chak 5 in the Okara region.
The May dispute began when a Muslim man accused three Christians of throwing dust at him when they cleaned the entrance of the village church, according to rights activists.
The incidents come amid broader concerns about attacks against minority Christians in Pakistan, a mainly Muslim nation.