Pakistani Muslim sect hijacks bus, one killed

Lahore, Pakistan - Members of an Islamic sect today hijacked a bus in Pakistan but freed the passengers and surrendered after a gunfight with police in which one sect member was killed, officials said.

Police said 22 members of the Anjuman Sarfroshan-i-Islam sect hijacked two buses on the outskirts of the industrial city of Faisalabad in the central province of Punjab.

They soon abandoned one of the buses but kept the other, with about 35 passengers on board, and demanded talks with President Pervez Musharraf.

Police stopped and surrounded the bus and tried to negotiate before shooting erupted.

One sect member was killed and one wounded. One policemen was also wounded, police said. None of the hostages was hurt.

The police quoted the hijackers as telling their hostages a presumed great Islamic leader named Mahdi, who Muslims believe will appear before doomsday, had emerged and they wanted to spread his message.

It was not immediately clear if one of the hijackers claimed to be the Mahdi.