It was the poorest class who lived in Christian Colony, a small enclave of bare brick houses where the mob struck Saturday. Its residents work as day laborers and peddlers in the market, often earning far less than the minimum wage, $75 a month.
The Hameeds were having breakfast when the mob descended, wielding guns, hurling stones and shouting insults (“Dogs!” “American agents!”) through their window. The Hameeds did not appear to have been singled out but had the misfortune of living where the mob entered the neighborhood and happened to be home at the time.
When the grandfather, Hameed Pannun Khan, 75, a house painter, opened the door to see what was happening, he was shot in the temple and crumpled to the ground. The crowd then pushed inside, and the rest of the family — at least 10 people — fled to the back bedroom and locked themselves inside. They listened from behind the door as the mob looted the house, dragging away a refrigerator and a cupboard.
Then came the smoke, thick white plumes under the door.
“Everyone was shouting to escape,” said Umer Hameed, 18. “There was no oxygen.”They waited as long as they could, until they thought it was safe, and then made a run for it, but not everybody made it. Three women, the two children and a man were trapped when the roof collapsed in flames.
Monday, August 03, 2009
Religion at its Worst
Christians attacked by Muslims in Pakistan: