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Afghan Attacks Kill 60; Signs Of A Sectarian Shift?

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Deadly suicide attacks in Afghanistan aimed at minority Shiite Muslims have experts wondering whether the war there could be taking a dangerous new sectarian turn.

Tuesday's twin attacks, in the capital of Kabul and the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, killed at least 60 Shiite worshippers as they celebrated Ashura, one of their sect's holiest days. It was the first such large-scale attack against Shiites in Afghanistan in more than a decade.

President Hamid Karzai called the attacks "unprecedented." A spokesman for Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni extremist group based in Pakistan, claimed responsibility. The group has close ties to the Taliban and al-Qaida, as well as Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI.

'The Seeds For Civil War'?

Experts are asking whether the attacks mean that anti-Shiite groups, which have carried out dozens of similar attacks in recent years inside Pakistan, are simply expanding their range. Alternately, Tuesday's suicide bombings could ...

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