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8 killed in Pak raid on Shia mosque

Karachi, Feb. 22 (AP): Gunmen opened fire inside a Shia mosque in this southern Pakistani city today, killing eight worshippers and injuring at least 10 others, police and hospital officials said.

At least three gunmen entered the Imam Bargha Mehdi mosque as worshippers were performing evening prayers and sprayed automatic weapons fire, said Iftikhar Ahmed, a spokesman for Pakistanís interior ministry. The gunmen had been waiting at a nearby tea shop, witnesses said.

The motive for the attack was not immediately clear. Pakistan has been wrecked by religious violence in recent years, most by Sunni extremist groups that have been targeting minority Shias.

Authorities have recently arrested several members of the banned Sunni extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, wanted in the deaths of dozens of people.

At least eight bodies were brought to nearby Jinnah hospital, Dr Kalim Ahmed said.

At least 10 other people were injured. Police said about 25 people were believed to be inside the mosque at the time of the shooting.

Dozens of relatives and friends of the victims gathered outside the hospital, many crying and beating their chests in anguish.

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