Pakistani Police Detain Shiite Activists Over Murder
Pakistani police detained about a dozen Shiite party activists Monday over the weekend murders of two members of Sunni group Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), police said.
"Around 12 suspects of Shiite political party Tehrik-i-Jafaria Pakistan (TJP) have been taken into custody," Karachi police chief Tariq Jamil told AFP.
Unknown gunmen killed two SSP activists and injured 11 others in an ambush on a bus returning from a Sunni party meeting on Sunday.
A case has also been filed against TJP provincial president Hasan Turabi and two other party leaders although they had not been taken into custody, he said.
Turabi said the arrests could incite more religious violence.
"It's a conspiracy to instigate sectarian riots in the city," he told AFP.
SSP leaders have accused the TJP and Iran of plotting the ambush.
"Whatever happened on Sunday was the result of Iran's interference in Pakistan's internal affairs," said SSP chief Azam Tariq.
Iran last week expressed concern over the acquittal of eight SSP activists previously sentenced to death for the alleged murder of an Iranian diplomat in 1997.
Violence involving militants from the majority Sunni and minority Shiite sects has claimed more than 300 lives in Pakistan, mostly in the central Punjab province, in the past two years.
The southern port city of Karachi has a history of political, ethnic and sectarian violence which has claimed thousands of lives in recent years -- KARACHI (AFP)
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