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Pakistani Police Raid Seminaries; Detain Sunni, Shi'ite Killing Suspects

Pakistani policemen stand beside seized weapons displayed for the media in Karachi last month.

Pakistani police detained dozens of people in raids on Sunni and Shi'ite Muslim seminaries in Karachi following a series of sectarian shootings in the city, officials said on November 7.

Five supporters of a Sunni group which does not believe Shi'a are Muslims were killed in Karachi last week, apparently in retaliation after the group claimed responsibility for shooting dead five Shi'a in the city's North Nazimabad area the previous week.

The seminary raids prompted protests by Sunni and Shi'ite activists on November 7, with one rally by Shi'a blocking a highway for eight hours before police dispersed it with tear gas, officials said.

Officials said the raids resulted in the arrest of two militants from the Taliban-linked group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi who were responsible for 28 attacks on Shi'a and security forces, including the killing of celebrated Sufi singer Amjad Sabri earlier this year.

Sabri regularly performed on national television and had many admirers of his devotional music.

Officials said they sealed some of the seminaries and a "huge number" of weapons were recovered in the raids.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP