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Last Updated: Monday, 10 January, 2005, 17:58 GMT
Curfew remains in N Pakistan city
Map of Pakistan
The authorities in Pakistan's northern city of Gilgit have maintained a curfew because of continuing tensions between rival Shia and Sunni communities.

The curfew was imposed on the city after an attempt on the life of a prominent Shia leader led to widespread violence on Saturday.

Fifteen people died in the clashes, and shops and offices remained shut as troops continued to patrol the streets. They are guarding key government installations and places of worship.

The BBC's Zaffar Abbas in Islamabad says that the situation in Gilgit has been under control since the curfew was implemented, but tensions still seem to be running high in the city.

Reports from some of the adjoining towns of Skardu and Hunza say angry Shia protesters on Sunday staged demonstrations and attacked government buildings.

More demonstrations were held on Monday, but officials said there were no reports of further violence.

Meanwhile, Shia community leader Agha Ziauddin, who was critically injured in the violence, was airlifted to Rawalpindi on Sunday where he was treated in a military hospital for multiple bullet wounds.

His two armed guards and one of the attackers were killed in the shoot-out.

The violence that followed the shooting incident led to several more deaths.

In one incident, a forestry officer and five members of his family were burnt alive when a mob set a government office and its adjacent houses on fire.

Our correspondent says that sectarian violence in Pakistan's Northern Areas often turns ugly, because the Shia and Sunni communities in the mountainous region are divided along tribal lines.




SEE ALSO:
Pakistan clashes kill at least 10
08 Jan 05 |  South Asia
Protester killed in Gilgit clash
03 Jun 04 |  South Asia



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