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Gunmen steal hundreds of holiday outfits from tailor

Gunmen have robbed a Pakistani tailor of more than 200 outfits made for customers ahead of the Eid Al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, tying up and beating his staff. Muhammad Razzaq told AFP Friday that two armed men barged into his Islamabad store before making off with 240 completed or near-finished shalwar kameez outfits – Pakistan’s national dress. “The police have not been able to find any clue to the ruthless guys who turned this Eid for me into a nightmare,” said Razzaq.

The haul was worth more than 720,000 rupees (nearly $4,000), he added. Pakistanis, and Muslims around the world, usually celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday with new outfits and jewelry – with the rich splashing out thousands on glitzy ensembles. But even poor people try to buy something new for the holiday, and tailor-made outfits are frequently cheaper than store-bought clothes. The Eid festival is expected to begin either Monday or Tuesday, depending on sighting of the new moon.

Tailor Muhammad Razzaq (left) opens his shop in Islamabad after gunmen robbed him of more than 200 outfits made for customers ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Most of the shelves in Razzaq’s shop were empty Friday and he sat disconsolately behind a sewing machine. “I have been working in the area for the last 20 years and have customers who come to me from posh areas of Islamabad and Rawalpindi with branded and expensive fabrics,” he said. Salman Ashraf, one of the tailors tied up during the raid, said the robbers were very aggressive. “The gunmen thrashed us, tied us with ropes and asked us to remain silent,” he said. Police confirmed the incident and said they were investigating.- AFP

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