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Army called out in Rawalpindi after 10 killed in sectarian clash

RAWALPINDI, Nov 15: At least seven persons were killed and a market was burnt on Friday in violence between two two groups related to the harassment of an Ashura procession in Rawalpindi, DawnNews reported. PakistanA cloth market situated in Rawalpindi’s Raja Bazaar was set on fire by enraged persons. The clashes erupted in Rawalpindi, when an Ashura procession in the main downtown area coincided with a sermon in a nearby mosque, according to an AFP report. The clash triggered a stampeded in the procession which caused more casualties. “The death toll from the clashes have reached seven people and 34 others are injured,” Muhammad Shoaib, an official at Rawalpindi’s district hospital, told AFP. The violence prompted Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif to take notice of the incident and also seek a report from officials. Police officer Afzal Hussain told AP earlier that participants of a procession beat to death three men in Rawalpindi, 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, Hussain said. They also set several shops outside the seminary on fire, he said. Police tried to stop the clash, but officers were wounded as the two sides threw stones at each other, Hussain said. An army unit based in Rawalpindi was called in which eventually reached the scene and took control. The authorities have also decided not to restore the mobile phone service in the city for the time being.]]>

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