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Gunmen kill 11 Shiite Muslims in Pakistan

Gunmen opened fire on a minibus carrying minority Shiite Muslims in southwestern Pakistan today, killing 11 people in what appeared to be a sectarian attack, police said.

Two people were also wounded in the ambush in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, senior police official Hamid Shakeel said. The dead included one woman and two children.

Shakeel said the victims were heading to the nearby town of Hazara when the four gunmen ambushed the minibus before fleeing.

Angered over the killings, dozens of Shiites briefly blocked a main road and torched two cars and two motorcycles, Shakeel said. Police regained control of the situation with help from local Shiite elders.

Shakeel said police were trying to track down the assailants.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but authorities have blamed majority Sunni militant groups for such violence in the past.

Pakistan has a history of sectarian killings. Although most majority Sunnis and Shiites live peacefully together, small extremist groups on both sides often target each other's leaders and activists.

The latest attack comes a day after gunmen killed seven passengers at a bus terminal near Quetta. The victims were non-Baluch and were waiting for a bus to travel to neighboring Iran.

Baluchistan is home to a small separatist movement that often targets Pakistanis from other parts of the country living there. Many non-Baluch have left as a result.

The separatists want a greater share of the money derived from the poor province's natural resources. AP