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Temple set on fire after Koran claim

HUNDREDS of angry Pakistanis attacked a Hindu temple and set it on fire in southern Pakistan overnight following a rumour that a member of the Hindu community had desecrated the Koran, police and community leaders said on Sunday.

The incident took place just before midnight on Saturday after locals in Larkana district alleged that Sangeet Kumar, 42, had torn out pages of Islam's holy book and tossed them down on the street from the roof of his home.

"Our Dharamshala (community centre) has been gutted and the temple has been partially damaged," Kalpana Devi, chairman of the local Hindu committee, told reporters.

"All the statues have been destroyed by the attackers," she added.

Hundreds of students from local Islamic seminaries attacked the temple holding batons, one witness said. Police arrived quickly to protect Kumar from the angry crowd.

"They acted smartly and took him out after making him put on a police uniform to save him from the wrath of the crowd," the witness said.

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