February 2005 News

One killed in Gilgit sectarian clash, 2 injured

25 February 2005
The Daily Times

Gilgit: A Shia man was killed and two Sunnis were injured when two rival Muslim groups clashed on Friday in Gilgit, a local government official said.The man was fatally wounded after stones were pelted as the two rival groups conducted body and vehicle searches for weapons, senior administration official Sajid Baloch said. 'The situation is (now) completely under control,' he said, adding that police had fired into the air to disperse the crowd and restore the flow of traffic.Shias form about 20 percent of Pakistan's population, but are a majority in Gilgit that has a troubled history of sectarian violence.Gilgit was rocked last month by unrest sparked by the shooting of Shia leader Agha Ziauddin that spread to the neighbouring town of Skardu leaving 17 people dead, including two government officials, a terrorist and two of Agha Ziauddin's guards. Fifteen others were injured in violence that erupted after the attack. A curfew was imposed in Gilgit city and troops were called in to control the situation. Pakistan has been plagued by tensions linked to extremist groups from the majority Sunni and minority Shia communities, resulting in the deaths of more than 4,000 people during the last decade.


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