- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Gunmen opened fire on Shiite Muslim pilgrims riding in a bus in southwest Pakistan on Tuesday, killing 25 of them in an apparent sectarian attack, officials said.

The pilgrims were traveling through Mastung district in Baluchistan province on their way to the Iranian border when the attack occurred, said Saeed Umrani, a senior district official.

Two motorcycles blocked the path of the bus, and three gunmen stormed the vehicle, opening fire on the roughly 40 pilgrims inside, said local tribal policeman Dadullah Baluch after interviewing survivors and eyewitnesses.

At least 25 people were killed and more than a dozen wounded, Mr. Baluch said. The dead and wounded were being taken to the provincial capital of Quetta, about 35 miles to the north, he said.

Pakistan is a majority Sunni Muslim state. Although most Sunnis and Shiites in Pakistan live together peacefully, extremists on both sides often target each other’s leaders and activists.

The Sunni-Shiite schism over the true heir to Islam’s Prophet Muhammad dates back to the seventh century.

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