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Gunmen kill six Shi’ites in Pakistan

QUETTA, Pakistan - Gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on Shi’ite Muslims in southwest Pakistan on Monday, killing six in an apparent sectarian attack, police said.

Three other Shi’ites were wounded in the attack on a shoe store in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan Province, said police officer Hamid Shakil. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Sunni militants with ideological and operational links to Al Qaeda and the Taliban have carried out scores of bombings and shootings against minority Shi’ites in recent years, particularly in Baluchistan.

The Sunni-Shi’ite schism over the true heir to Islam’s Prophet Mohammed dates back to the seventh century.

Pakistan is a majority Sunni Muslim state, with around 15 percent of the population Shi’ite. Most Sunnis and Shi’ites live together peacefully in Pakistan, though tensions have existed for decades.

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