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30 Dead In Pakistani Violence During Religious Festival

The violence occurred in the northwest of the country (RFE/RL) 9 February 2006 – Gunfire and a suspected suicide bombing today killed at least 30 people in northwestern Pakistan.

The suicide blast targeted a procession of Shi’ite Muslims marking the festival of Ashura in the Northwest Frontier Province.

The explosion in the town of Hangu triggered riots with enraged Shi'a setting shops on fire. Officials say several people died in shootings.

The top district administrator said more than 50 people were wounded and more than 60 percent of the town's bazaar was burned down in the day of violence.

Security forces were deployed to control the unrest.

Sectarian attacks have in the past marred the festival of Ashura, which commemorates the martyrdom in Iraq of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, in the 7th century.

(Reuters, AP, AFP)

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