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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sunni-Shiite Violence Roils East Pakistan

KARACHI, Pakistan -- Pakistani soldiers in armored personnel carriers patrolled the troubled eastern district of Karachi on Tuesday as Islamic religious students burned tires, pelted passing cars and beat their chests to mourn the shooting death of three of their teachers.


The teachers, all Sunni Moslem clerics, were killed Sunday by a gunman who opened fire on their car as they arrived at the sprawling Benuri Mosque compound that also houses the largest Islamic religious school in Pakistan.


A bullet pierced the gas tank, setting the car on fire and killing three of the four teachers inside. The fourth teacher was in serious condition.


No one has taken responsibility for the shooting, but the students and militant Sunni Moslems are blaming members of the Movement for the Enforcement of Shiite Law.


More than 200 people have been killed so far this year in violent clashes between militant Shiite and Sunni Moslems. Most of the killings have been in the eastern Punjab province but in recent weeks an increasing number of incidents have occurred in southern Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital.


One victim Sunday was Habibullah Mukhtar, the principal of the Benuri religious school, which educates more than 800 students from 32 countries.


Since the shooting, the entire area has been under curfew. Shops were closed and only a few residents had ventured from their homes, witnesses said.


"The situation is very tense," said Munir Ahmed, a police spokesman.