Suspected Shiite militants assassinated an extremist Sunni Muslim leader in a hail of machine-gun fire this week. Azam Tariq, a cleric and the leader of a banned pro-Taliban group, was also a member of Parliament. His killing has raised fears that Pakistan could explode in inter-Muslim violence. Sunni and Shiite extremists have been fighting sporadically, gangland-style, ever since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and the hits have been growing more frequent and more brazen. Sunni religious students rioted after Tariq’s funeral, setting cars on fire and torching a Shiite shrine. “We will avenge your martyrdom; we will avenge your killing,” they chanted.
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