Pakistan arrests suspect in student's slaying over blasphemy

FILE - In this April 22, 2017 file photo, members of a Pakistani civil society group hold posters showing university student Mohammad Mashal Khan during a demonstration against his killing, in Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistani police say they have arrested a key suspect sought for inciting the lynching of a university student who was falsely accused of blasphemy in the country's northwest. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan, File)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Pakistani police say they have arrested a key suspect sought for inciting the lynching of a university student who was falsely accused of blasphemy in the country's northwest.

District police chief Saeed Khan said on Friday that the man, identified as Arif Khan, had been in hiding since April 2016, after a mob killed 23-year-old Mohammad Mashal Khan at his university campus in the town of Mardan over unfounded rumors that he shared blasphemous content on social media.

The arrest came after an appellate court suspended three-year prison terms handed down last month to 25 suspects over the student's slaying.

In February, an anti-terrorism court sentenced one man to death and five others to life imprisonment. Those sentences are still unchanged.

Blasphemy against Islam is punishable by death in Pakistan.

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