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Hazara Shia Muslims mourn their dead

Memorial commemorates a series of killings

Hazara Shia Muslims mourn their dead
Mourners at the funeral of a Hazara Shia killed on September 1 in a targeted attack

October 2, 2012

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More than 2,000 people from the Hazara Shia community in northwest Balochistan province observed a memorial service yesterday for victims of targeted killings and suicide bombings. Hazara Solidarity Day came a month after a motorbike rider shot and killed seven members of the Shia community in the provincial capital of Quetta on September 1. “None of the terrorists have been arrested so far. Law enforcement agencies and the government do not pay heed to our protests and press conferences. We are being pushed into a sectarian war fueled by hate,” said Abdul Khaliq Hazara, chairman of the Hazara Democratic Party. The annual event began after a bus shooting last year in which 26 Shia pilgrims, en route to Iran, were killed. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni militant group, claimed responsibility for the attack. “It is the duty of clerics, politicians and NGOs to reject killing in the name of religion. Their silence raises many questions,” Hazara said. According to organizers, similar gatherings were organized in 35 countries this year. HDP claims 500 Hazara Shias, and 200 other adherents of Shia Islam, have been killed since 2001 in the country. They have a population of about 600,000, mostly in Quetta and Karachi. Related reports Shias demand right to religious freedom Rights activists condemn Hazara killings

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