Sectarian Violence Leaves 14 Dead in Pakistan

Posted April 3rd, 2012 at 4:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Pakistani officials say attacks linked to sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims in the northern town of Gilgit have left at least 14 people dead and dozens wounded.

The officials said Tuesday's violence began when five people in Gilgit were killed in clashes between police and Sunni Muslims protesting alleged attacks by Shi'ites.

Hours later, suspected Sunni gunmen blocked the main highway and stopped several buses, killing nine Shi'ites on board.

Local authorities imposed a curfew in the area.

In February, gunmen disguised in military uniforms stopped a commuter bus in Kohistan tribal district in the north and shot dead 18 Shi'ite passengers.

Over the years, Pakistan has seen a series of sectarian attacks targeting the country's Shi'ite minority, which makes up about 15 percent of the population. Although most Sunnis and Shi'ites coexist peacefully, members of both communities are often targeted by extremists.