Funeral for slain Pakistani sectarian leader held amid protests
Saturday, December 07, 2013 - 00:49
Dec. 7 - As the funeral takes place for slain provincial leader of a Pakistani Sunni sectarian group, thousands of supporters of the anti-Shi'ite faction stage protests. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Thousands of activists and supporters of a Pakistani Sunni sectarian group took to the streets of Lahore to condemn the killing of their leader as his funeral was held in the city on Saturday.
Gunmen killed the provincial leader of the group on Friday and police were deployed to prevent more violence after the anti-Shi'ite faction called for protests.
Maulana Shamsur Rehman, the Punjab leader of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat (ASWJ), was shot while leaving a mosque, said Mohammed Rafiq from Shafiqabad police station.
The stick-wielding protesters marched through the streets of Lahore and shouted anti-Shi'ite slogans as police in riot gear looked on. More than one hundred stick-wielding protesters blocked a highway for several hours in the capital Islamabad.
Thousands of slogan chanting mourners attended the funeral prayer for the slain Sunni leader in Lahore.
Sectarian strife has been worsening in Pakistan where Shi'ite Muslims make up about 20 percent of the 180 million population.
Rehman's group was formed by members of the banned organisation Sipah-e-Sahaba which had repeatedly said it wanted to expel Shi'ites from Pakistan.
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