Relaymedia

Catholic Priest Shot by Extremist in Pakistan

( [email protected] ) Jul 08, 2003 08:45 PM EDT

A Roman Catholic priest who was threatened to death after his church took over a school in eastern Pakistan was shot at home on 5 July, AP reported.

Police reported that gunmen broke into Rev. George Ibrahim's house in Ranala Kot which is located about 180 miles south of Islamabad. No one was arrested or claimed of responsibility.

Shahbaz Bhatti, head of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance said Rev. Ibrahim had received several death threats after the province returned the school to Catholic Church ownership.

He said Ibrahim wanted to denatinalize the school, which had been under the church's property. But Wehn he got it back, he got threats saying 'you will pay a price for the school.

The threats are from anonymous people but expected to be from extremist Muslim groups. They have been blamed for attacks against Christians in Pakistan.

Bhatti added that Pakistan's minortiy Christian community has got attacks from extremist groups since the US led war on terrorism in Afghanistan in 2001. The extremist groups think Christians in Pakistan are related to the United States, a mostly Christian country.

Extremist Muslim groups have been staunch opponents of Musharraf's support for the anti-terror war and have targeted Christians several times, AP reported.