Pakistan police say officers kill 4 Taliban militants ahead of possible plot targeting Shiites

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A senior police officer in Pakistan says officers killed four Taliban fighters likely plotting to attack a planned Shiite rally.

Officer Rai Zameerul Haq says the four men were spotted traveling in a vehicle Saturday near the city of Muzaffargarh in eastern Punjab province and were killed in a shootout. He says officers later raided the men's hideout and recovered dozens of grenades, rocket launchers and four suicide bomb vests.

The officer says authorities believe the men planned to target a rally planned Saturday for Shiites marking a commemoration 40 days after Ashoura, in which they mourn the death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Imam Hussein in the battle of Karbala.

Shiites hold these rallies across Pakistan despite threats from Sunni extremists who consider them to be heretics.