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Pakistan Imposes Curfew in Rawalpindi After Clashes

  • VOA News

A Pakistan army soldier mans at a vehicle during a curfew in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013.

A Pakistan army soldier mans at a vehicle during a curfew in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013.

Pakistani authorities have imposed a rare curfew in the garrison city of Rawalpindi next to the capital, Islamabad, after sectarian clashes during a Shi'ite religious commemoration killed at least eight Sunni Muslims.

The violence erupted Friday when a procession of Shi'ites marking the most important day of the mourning month of Muharram coincided with a sermon at a nearby Sunni mosque.

Angry Shi'ite protesters attacked the mosque and seminary, torching its building and an adjacent market.

Officials with the government of Punjap province said Saturday that residents have been ordered to stay in their homes until further notice to prevent further clashes. There has also been a general news blackout in the area.

The mourning month of Muharram is the death anniversary of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Hussein was killed by the armies of the caliph Yazid in 680 AD and his death is mourned across the world by Shi'ites every year. The commemoration ends on December 3.
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