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U.S., EU Condemn Slaughter Of Pakistani Sect

Pakistani police commandos battled gunmen who attacked two mosques belonging to a minority Muslim sect in Lahore on May 28.

The United States and European Union have led international condemnation of attacks in Pakistan in which suspected Islamist gunmen slaughtered at least 80 people at mosques belonging to a minority Muslim sect in the city of Lahore.

The May 28 attacks targeted members of the Ahmadi community. Ahmadis are considered heretics by many Muslims and have been officially declared non-Muslims by Pakistan's government because of their beliefs.

In the attacks, gunmen wearing suicide explosives vests stormed two mosques in Lahore, spraying bullets, throwing grenades and taking hostages.

Around 80 people were reported killed and some 100 others injured.

Three attackers are reported to have died after blowing themselves up, while two attackers were reported captured. The fate of two other suspected attackers was not clear.

Pakistani Taliban militants -- Sunnis who view Ahmadis as infidels -- are suspected of carrying out the slaughter.

The U.S. State Department said it condemned what it called "brutal violence against innocent people," adding that the United States stands opposed to violence targeting any religious group.

European Union diplomatic chief Catherine Ashton said she was "appalled" by the attacks, and said the EU remains committed to helping Pakistan combat violent extremism.

compiled from agency reports