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Pakistan imposes curfew after sectarian clashes

ISLAMABAD – The Pakistani government has imposed a rare curfew in the garrison city of Rawalpindi next to the capital after sectarian clashes during a Shiite religious commemoration killed seven Sunni Muslims.

Shoaib Bin Aziz, an official with the government of Punjab province where Rawalpindi is located, said Saturday that residents were ordered to stay in their homes until further notice.

Soldiers and police were patrolling the streets to enforce the curfew.

The seven Sunnis were killed Friday in a clash with Shiites who were holding a procession to mark Ashoura, one of the sect’s most important religious occasions.

Police officer Mohammad Wasim said 35 other people were wounded. Shiites set fire to dozens of shops in anger.

Fire department official Mohammad Mazhar said two Shiite mosques were set on fire overnight.

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