10 killed, 83 wounded in Pak clashes
Gunmen opened fire on Shiite Muslims in a remote town of northwestern Pakistan, sparking gunbattles between majority Sunni and Shiites.world Updated: Apr 07, 2007 12:52 IST
Gunmen opened fire on Shiite Muslims in a remote town of northwestern Pakistan, sparking gunbattles between majority Sunni and Shiites that left 10 people dead and 83 wounded, an official said on Saturday.
The trouble began Friday when unidentified people opened fire on Shiites near their mosque in Parachinar, a town about 250 kilometres southwest of Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier province bordering Afghanistan.
Authorities immediately imposed curfew, and called troops, who were trying to restore order in the town, said Arbab Mohammed Arif Khan, secretary for law and order in Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal regions.
"People from both sides damaged each other's property on Friday and Saturday, and sporadic clashes are still continuing there," he said.
Khan provided no further details, and only said they were seeking help from clerics from the Shiite and Sunni sects to control the situation.
Pakistan has a history of sectarian violence, and scores of people are killed in such clashes every year.
Although most Sunni and Shiite Muslims live peacefully together, extremists on both sides often target each other's leaders and activists.
The Sunni-Shiite schism over the true heir to Islam's Prophet Muhammad dates back to the seventh century.