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Sunni, Shi'ite Groups Exchange Fire In Pakistan

(RFE/RL) 10 February 2006 -- Rival groups of Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims have exchanged gunfire in northwestern Pakistan, in the same area where a suicide bomb killed more than 30 people on 9 February.

Details are still emerging, but reports say at least two people were killed.

The 9 February blast targeted a procession of Shi'a 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.

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

(AP, Reuters)

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