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Shiites bury their dead in troubled Pakistani city

 A Pakistani Shiite Muslim woman is comforted while grieving next to the body of her relative, a victim of Saturday's bombing that killed scores of pe...
 People attend funeral procession of activists of Pakistani Sunni religious group Ahle Sunnat Waljamaat in Karachi, Pakistan on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013...
 People offer funeral prayers of activists of Pakistani Sunni religious group Ahle Sunnat Waljamaat in Karachi, Pakistan on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. Th...

Pakistan

A Pakistani Shiite Muslim woman is comforted while grieving next to the body of her relative, a victim of Saturday's bombing that killed scores of pe...

Pakistan

People attend funeral procession of activists of Pakistani Sunni religious group Ahle Sunnat Waljamaat in Karachi, Pakistan on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013...

Pakistan

People offer funeral prayers of activists of Pakistani Sunni religious group Ahle Sunnat Waljamaat in Karachi, Pakistan on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. Th...

Pakistani Shiites buried their kin killed in a massive bombing last weekend in the southwestern city of Quetta but the funeral on Wednesday was marred by gunfire as both protesters and police fired into the air.
Shiite Muslims have increasingly come under attack in this Sunni Muslim-dominated country where many extremists do not consider them to be true Muslims.
After Saturday's bombing killed 89 people, Pakistani Shiites refused to bury their dead for three days and demanded government action. The tension evident at the funeral suggested that recent government attempts to address the problem may not be enough to appease them.
Mourners on Wednesday lowered the bodies of 60 of the victims, wrapped in white cloth, into a long line of graves dug out at the local Shiite cemetery in Quetta.
Shiite community leader Qayum Changezi said tensions broke out after angry relatives of the deceased pelted police and government officials with stones. He said the protesters were demanding that the bodies not be buried until the Pakistani army leads a crackdown against the militant groups.
Both police and relatives fired into the air, the relatives in anger and the police to disperse the crowd, said police officer Fayaz Sumbal.
Changezi said the melee escalated as female relatives of the deceased blocked a main highway close to the graveyard, refusing to leave.
There's been no indication that the army would take control of the city, another longtime demand of protesters. But the government announced on Monday that paramilitary forces began an operation against the anti-Shiite militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which claimed responsibility for Saturday night's blast, and other militant groups.
The government also replaced the top police officer in Baluchistan on Tuesday. And Fayaz Sumbal, deputy police chief in Quetta has also been ordered to replace the chief of police operations in Quetta.
Shiites have criticized police and paramilitary forces under control of the Interior Ministry in Quetta for failing to protect the minority sect, which comprises up to 20 percent of the country's population of 180 million.
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Associated Press writer Rebecca Santana in Islamabad contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-10-25 08:47 GMT+08:00