2017-04-03

Shrine custodian accused of killing 20 in Sargodha District

AFP

The custodian of a Pakistani religious shrine in Sargodha District and two accomplices have been arrested for torturing and murdering 20 worshippers with knives and clubs early Sunday (April 2).

Four women were among those killed in the attacks at the Sufi Shrine to Mohammad Ali in Punjab province.

The motive was unclear but some officials said the chief suspect had mental health problems and had used violence on followers before.

"The 50-year-old shrine custodian, Abdul Waheed, has confessed that he killed these people because he feared that they had come to kill him," regional police chief Zulfiqar Hameed told AFP.

Another local government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Waheed had told police that the saint buried at the shrine had been poisoned and he feared that his victims might kill him also.

"We suspect that the victims had been given some intoxicants before they were murdered, but we will wait for a forensics report to confirm this suspicion," Hameed added.

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