Page last updated at 16:33 GMT, Monday, 6 July 2009 17:33 UK

Shias killed in Pakistan attacks

Pakistani local residents look at the wreckage of a destroyed vehicle a day after a suicide bomb attack in Dera Ismail Khan, on May 29, 2009
Dera Ismail Khan has seen many sectarian attacks in recent weeks

Three people have been killed in two separate sectarian attacks in the troubled district of Dera Ismail Khan in north-west Pakistan, officials say.

All of those killed belong to the Shia religious group.

They are the latest victims in a wave of violence which has claimed dozens of lives there over the past few weeks.

Dera Ismail Khan borders the tribal region of South Waziristan where the Pakistani army is engaged in an operation against Taliban militants.

It provides the main route into the unstable region.

"The first incident took place at 1100 this morning in the north of town," police chief Saeedullah Khan told the BBC.

"Two brothers were shot dead by gunmen on motorcycles as they were standing outside their shop," he said.

Both died on the spot.

Shortly afterwards, another Shia man was gunned down in similar circumstances.

The local police chief said security had been tightened across the city in the wake of the incidents.

The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad says that security forces in the district appear unable to stop the killings.

They have been specifically targeted the Shia community, many of whom have already left the area.

In recent days, Dera Ismail Khan has seen increasing numbers of pro-government Taliban militants on its streets, our correspondent says.

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