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Reward offered in blasphemy case

A hardline Pakistani Islamic cleric has offered a reward to anyone who kills a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy against Islam.

Maulana Yousef Qureshi told a rally in the north-western town of Peshawar that his mosque would give 6,000 US dollars (£3,800) to the person who kills Asia Bibi.

Bibi, who is in jail, was sentenced on November 8 to hang for insulting the Prophet Mohammed. She and her family say the charge is baseless.

Her case has attracted international attention and a personal appeal from Pope Benedict XVI for her freedom, while government officials have talked about the possibility of a presidential pardon.

But Islamist groups have protested against any move to show leniency towards her.

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From Belfast Telegraph