Islamabad - The Pakistani government has imposed a rare
curfew in the garrison city of Rawalpindi next to the capital, after sectarian
clashes during a Shi’ite religious commemoration killed seven Sunni Muslims.
Shoaib Bin Aziz, an official with the government of
Punjab province where Rawalpindi is located, said on Saturday that residents
were ordered to stay in their homes until further notice.
Soldiers and police were patrolling the streets to
enforce the curfew.
The seven Sunnis were killed on Friday in a clash with
Shi’ites, who were holding a procession to mark Ashura, one of the sect's most
important religious occasions.
Police spokesperson Mohammad Wasim said 35 other people
were wounded. Shi’ites set fire to dozens of shops in anger.
Fire department official Mohammad Mazhar said two Shi’ite
mosques were set on fire overnight.