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Eight shot dead in sectarian violence

world Updated: Jun 23, 2008 13:51 IST

AFP
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Gunmen shot dead eight members of a Shiite Muslim tribe in northwest Pakistan, the latest attack in a wave of sectarian violence in the region, officials and residents said on Monday.

The victims were mostly drivers who were kidnapped last week in a raid on a supply convoy carrying food for the town of Parachinar, the main town in the semi-autonomous Kurram tribal region bordering Afghanistan, they said.

"The bodies of the victims were found dumped near a road in the Alizai area of Kurram region" overnight, local administration chief Ataur Rehman told AFP, adding that an investigation had been launched.
Residents said the dead were members of a Shiite tribe.

Last Thursday, four people were killed in the attack on the food convoy while five others were killed when military helicopters shelled surrounding hills to dislodge heavily armed attackers, officials said.
Parachinar, which has a population of about 70,000 people, was rocked by bloody sectarian clashes in April in which some 50 people were killed.

Shiites account for about 20 per cent of Pakistan's Sunni-dominated population, but are in the majority in Parachinar.

Sectarian violence involving militants from Sunni and Shiite sects has claimed more than 4,000 lives since the late 1980s.