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January 23, 2014

Pakistani Shiites rally against deadly attack

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani police officer says relatives of Shiites killed in a suicide bombing this week are rallying for the third straight day, refusing to bury their kin and demanding a crackdown on militants in southwestern Baluchistan province.

The officer, Ahmad Nawaz says the Shiites are protesting Tuesday's attack in Mastung district when a suicide bomber killed 28 Shiite pilgrims returning from Iran.

The protesters have placed the coffins of the victims on a road in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan, and refuse to move.

Local Shiite leader Musarrat Agha says the protests won't end until Pakistan's government cracks down on al-Qaida linked Sunni militants in Baluchistan, such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. The group often targets Shiites, considering them to be heretics.

Similar Shiite protests are also being held elsewhere Thursday in Pakistan.

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