South Asia

Eyewitness: Pakistan mosque attack

Rescuers remove a body from a mosque in Lahore, 28 May
Image caption Two mosques were targeted in the attacks during Friday prayers

Gunmen have attacked two mosques of the minority Ahmadi Islamic sect in the Pakistani city of Lahore, killing dozens, officials say. Saleem Ulhaq Khan was inside one of the mosques, in the Model Town area. He describes what happened.

They started firing and bombing indiscriminately. Everyone started rushing around in panic. There's a security gate - that got closed. People were running trying to find a place to hide.

I saw one of the attackers as he was entering the sermon hall, then I ran away. He very much reminded me of the people who attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team, he was wearing similar clothes - the traditional Pakistani dress shalwar kameez and he looked like someone from a tribal area.

I went upstairs and I found a room with a bed, I hid under the bed. I was too scared to leave, even after the firing had stopped. I saw from the window security personnel, rescue people, fire brigade. The bodies had already been taken away.

This is a big old building, it's 50 years old. I was on my own. I didn't know what was happening. I could hear the firing going on for quite some time.

I am not surprised by this attack. We were expecting it for three or four weeks - a threat was published in a local newspaper that there would be attacks and the authorities were informed.

That's why we have our own security guards in front of our mosques. They are not professional, they are volunteers. They were the first to have been killed.

These are innocent people; we are a peaceful community. Our activities are prohibited by law and we are officially targeted. This is wrong.

I blame the fundamentalists, but I also blame the authorities. We are peaceful, law-abiding citizens and we get no protection. I want the world to see how we've been treated.

More on this story

Around the BBC