Two local young Muslims going for Friday prayers to their mosque in Pakistan's Lahore city beat up and set fire to a 14-year-old Christian boy after stopping him and asking his religious affiliation, according to a Christian group.
The victim, identified only as Nuaman, is being treated at Meo Hospital in Lahore in Punjab province, according to a Christian group, The Voice Society, in Pakistan. He has burns covering more than 55 percent of his body.
The Christian boy was coming from a tailor's shop when he was attacked. It was time for Muslim prayers on Friday when the incident happened.
Two Muslims, who have not been identified, stopped him and asked what his religion was.
"I told them that I am Christian. They started beating me, when I tried running, both boys started following me through the street and then they threw Kerosene on me and burnt me," Nuaman was quoted as saying. "I kept on running when a heap of sand came my way, I lied down on the sand … [A] few people from the community … [extinguished] fire by putting sand on me. I became unconscious, and they called 1122 Emergency medical helpline and called [for] an ambulance."
Nuaman, who lives with his paternal uncle, said he does not know the attackers but can identify them with their faces.
The boy's father died when he was 4, and his mother remarried.
The attack could be a reaction to a recent incident of lynching by some Christians of two suspected terrorists following a terror attack on a church in the same city, the group said.
Two suicide blasts hit the Christ Church and Catholic Church of Youhanabad Christian Colony in Lahore on March 15, killing 17 people. A Pakistani Taliban splinter group claimed responsibility for the attack, which left another 80 people injured.
Thousands of Christians rioted on the streets of Lahore following the attack, demanding more protection from the government. Reports said that two suspected terrorists were beaten to death and burned during the riots. The men were apparently in custody and were being shifted to a vehicle when the protesters got to them, beat them severely, tied them with a rope and set them on fire.
After the lynching incident, general hatred against the Christian minority has increased, the group believes.