Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf has banned two militant Islamic groups in an effort to curb sectarian violence in the country.
In a televised speech to mark Independence Day, General Musharraf said the activities of the Sunni Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the Shia Sipah-e-Mohammed groups had been outlawed.
He also warned that two other groups - the Sunni Sipah-e-Sahaba and the Shia Tahreek-e-Jaffria were being closely watched.
There have been dozens of attacks in Pakistan by rival Sunni and Shia Muslims in recent years.
From the newsroom of the BBC World Service