ISLAMABAD -  A mob led by right-wing Muslim clerics tore down the dome and minarets of a 100-year old worship place belonging to the Ahmadi community, officials and the community said on Thursday.

Saleemuddin, a spokesman for the Ahmadi community, said a mob stormed the complex in Sialkot, near the Indian border, overnight. He put the number at several hundred.

He said there was collusion between the mob and local government officials, but police denied such accusations.

Asad Sarfraz, a police official, said municipal government officials were at the complex removing what he called ‘illegal renovation’. “An emotionally charged mob of people belonging to different groups and segments of society reached there and damaged several parts of the building,” Sarfraz said.

Sarfraz said about 60-70 people were involved and authorities were attempting to identify the attackers.

Saleemuddin denied the renovation work was illegal and said the community had obtained permission from the local government to upgrade the building. He shared an application approved by the municipal government with Reuters.

A social media video of the attack’s aftermath shows a crowd cheering a local cleric, who then claims to have ransacked the worship place.

“I want to thank the Sialkot administration, the DPO (District Police Officer), DC (District Commissioner), the TMA (Town Municipal Corporation), from the bottom of my heart,” said the cleric. “Because as Muslims it was your responsibility to complete this work.”

The Ahmadis consider themselves to be Muslims but their recognition of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who founded the sect in British-ruled India in 1889, as a “subordinate prophet” is viewed by many of the Sunni majority as a breach of the Islamic tenet that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was God’s last direct messenger.