An enraged mob in the picturesque Pakistani town of Swat has gunned down a tourist, dragged him through the town and later hanged him in full public view for allegedly committing desecration of the Quran.

The incident happened on Thursday night when Muhammad Ismail, a resident of Sialkot in Punjab province, was visiting the northwestern Pakistan hill resort town of Swat and was accused of having burnt the pages of Islam’s holy book in Madyan tehsil of Swat district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

District Police Officer (DPO), Swat, Zahidullah said that initially the police had taken Ismail in custody and locked him up in the police station when the alleged desecration incident was reported.

However, the incident was announced from mosques through loudspeakers in the market, prompting thousands of people to gather outside the police station.

Soon after, the angry mob demanded that the police hand over the suspect to them. On refusal, a fierce exchange of fire took place between the local people and the police in which eight persons were injured, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

After that the mob torched the police station, forcing the cops on duty to flee for their lives.

“After that, the people entered the police station and shot and killed the suspect and dragged his body to the Madyan Ada, where they hanged him. The people also set the police station and police vehicles on fire, while the policemen on duty fled. Meanwhile, more police force was called to control the mob,” the officer was quoted as saying.

According to the police officials, the incident has caused a law and order situation in the hill town. More police force was called to restore order in the popular tourist destination.

Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Ali Amin Gandapur has sought a report from the provincial police chief.

He has directed the Inspector General of Police to take emergency steps to control the situation and urged people to remain calm.

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