Pakistan police have arrested a young girl with Down’s Syndrome accused by a mob of burning pages of the Koran.
Police said the girl, Rimsha, is a Christian and is in her teens, but activists say she is just 11 years old.
She was arrested on Thursday after hundreds of neighbours gathered outside her house in a poor outlying district of the capital, Islamabad.
She has been remanded in custody for 14 days while police investigate.
Some reports suggested the girl had been burning papers collected from the rubbish for cooking when someone entered her house and accused the family of burning pages inscribed with verses from the Koran.
A Pakistani police officer, Zabi Ullah, said: "About 500 to 600 people had gathered outside her house in Islamabad, and they were very emotional, angry and they might have harmed her if we had not quickly reacted.
"Some Muslims from the area claim the girl had burned pages of the Koran, and we are investigating. We have not reached any conclusion.”
The country’s president Asif Ali Zardari has called on officials to explain the arrest.
There is a growing debate about religious intolerance in Pakistan, where strict anti-blasphemy laws make defaming Islam or desecrating the Koran punishable by death.
Zardari’s government has been heavily criticised in the West for refusing to reform the anti-blasphemy law, despite the assassinations of a leading politician and a Christian cabinet minister in 2011.
Punjab governor Salman Taseer was assassinated in January 2011 and minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti two months later for their opposition to the blasphemy law.
They had taken up the plight of a Christian mother sentenced to death for blasphemy in late 2010. She remains in prison.