Sectarian violence in Lucknow over Iraq situation

Lucknow: Clashes between two religious groups broke out in old Lucknow late Thursday over conducting prayers for peace in Iraq, officials said.

The clashes occurred at the city's Sadatganj area when a group was praying and protesting against innocent people's killings in Iraq. A cleric had given a call to hold prayers for bringing an end to the violence in the west Asian country.

As people gathered on their roof tops for late night prayers, a group belonging to another sect objected. The situation worsened in no time. Soon melee broke out and stone-pelting started from both sides and blank shots were fired.

The incident took administrative officials and residents by surprise.

Officials rushed to the spot and heavy security deployment has been ensured in the area of Dargah Hazrat Abbas to avoid any escalation of hostilities, an official of the home department told IANS.

Police pickets have also been deployed at the city's Ghanta Baig Gadhaiyya area where the two sides confronted each other and violence took place.

A youth was seriously wounded in the clashes and has been admitted to the trauma centre.

Circle Officer (CO) Bazarkhala, Rajk Kumar Agarwal told IANS that the situation is under control and heavy police posse has been deployed at sensitive areas. He also said the crowds that clashed have been chased away.

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