An Anti-Terror Court on Saturday sentenced a man to death and his accomplice to life imprisonment in the first convictions for an attack on the persecuted Ahmadi minority that left 82 dead.
In May 2010, gun and suicide attackers stormed into two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore, slaughtering dozens of worshippers. 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.
“Accused Muaviya, 27, has been given the death sentence on seven counts of murder and terrorism for the attack on the Ahmadi places of worship,” said prosecutor Rai Asif Mehmood. The court gave life imprisonment to Muaviya’s co-accused Abdullah, 21, on nine counts of terrorism and use of explosives, Mehmood said. The men were fined Rs. 3 million each, Mehmood added.
A second prosecution official confirmed the sentences.
The pair’s defense lawyer Rana Arif said that his clients could appeal against the verdicts.
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.