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Several hundred members of the Hazara ethnic group have staged a protest in southwestern Pakistan against the murder of a six-year-old girl.

The crowd staged a sit-in on November 8 outside the office of the provincial police chief in Quetta, capital of Balochistan Province.

Sahar Batool, who was from the minority Hazara group, was found dead on November 5 in Quetta. She had been strangled and her body was dumped near a garbage heap.

Major political and religious parties in Pakistan have condemned the killing.

The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says violence has forced some 200,000 ethnic Hazaras to flee Balochistan over the past 10 years.

On October 23, gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying members of the Shi'ite Hazara community in Quetta, killing eight of them.

Based on reporting by AFP and