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Gunmen kill 7 Shi’ites in attack on minibus in Pakistan

Associated Press / September 2, 2011

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PARACHINAR, Pakistan - Gunmen killed seven Shi’ite Muslims in an attack on a minibus in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, and three people died in a suicide car bomb attack on a police station.

Sunni extremists of one stripe or another are suspected in both attacks, which were not linked.

Allied to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the militants frequently target Shi’ites, whom they regard as non-Muslims, as well as Pakistan’s pro-Western government.

Government official Jameel-ur-Rehman said the gunmen ambushed the bus in an area of the Kurram tribal region close to the Afghan border, which has seen repeated attacks on its Shi’ites over the last year. The suicide blast also took place in the northwest, but in a different region.

Police officer Sana Ullah said officers opened fire on the vehicle, which blew up at the gate of the station in the Lakki Marat district. The driver was killed. The two other dead were shopkeepers. Several policemen and bystanders were injured, he said.

Islamist militants have carried out hundreds of attacks against Pakistani security force, government, and Western targets since 2007. At least 35,000 people have been killed.

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