Eight killed in Pakistan violence

    By IANS,

    Islamabad: At least eight people were killed and a market was burned in Pakistan’s Rawalpindi city Friday after two groups clashed during an Ashura procession, a leading Pakistani daily reported.

    A curfew was imposed after the incident at Rawalpindi’s Raja Bazar area and mobile phone services were suspended until Sunday, The Dawn reported quoting a state government spokesperson as saying.

    Police said that some unknown people set afire a cloth market in Raja Bazaar and in retaliation members of rival groups resorted to stone-pelting and firing. The clash triggered a stampeded in the procession which caused more casualties.

    “Among 44 wounded people brought to our hospital, 13 had gunshot wounds,” said a senior doctor treating the injured at Rawalpindi’s district hospital.

    The violence prompted Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif to seek a report from officials.

    A senior police officer said that violence was triggered when participants of a procession beat to death three men, belonging to a seminary, for insulting them as their procession passed the seminary.

    The procession members dragged the harassers out of the seminary after hearing the shouted insults and beat them to death, the officer said. They also set several shops outside the seminary on fire.

    An army unit has been called in to take control of the situation.