A Christian couple in Pakistan have been beaten and burned alive by an angry mob for allegedly desecrating the Muslim's holy book of Koran, according to reports.
The two were thrown into the kiln where they worked, police said. The incident occurred in Kot Radha Kishan, about 60km south of the capital Lahore, in the Punjab province.
"Yesterday an incident of desecration of the Holy Quran took place in the area and today the mob first beat the couple and later set their bodies on fire at a brick kiln," local police station official Bin-Yameen told AFP.
Local reports stated that the couple were still alive when they were dragged into the kiln. The victims were only identified by their first names, Shama and Shehzad, and were a married couple.
Following the incident, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif urged local authorities to increase security for the Christian communities who live in the province.
Christians are often persecuted for blasphemy in the Muslim-majority Pakistan, where derogatory remarks of the Koran are punished with the death penalty.
According to the country's penal code: "Whoever, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person or makes any gesture in the sight of that person or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both."
In 1982, a clause prescribed life imprisonment for "wilful" desecration of the Koran.
In 1986, a separate clause was inserted to punish blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad and the penalty recommended was "death, or imprisonment for life".
The country introduced a de facto moratorium on civilian hangings in 2008 and only one person - a soldier convicted by a court martial and hanged in November 2012 - has been executed since.
A Christian woman is currently at risk of being executed by hanging for allegedly making blasphemous remarks about the Prophet Mohammed.