Emotional service remembers persecuted Hazara

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NORTHERN Tasmanian Hazara and supporters gathered yesterday at Launceston's Civic Square in remembrance of Hazara killed in Pakistan.

An estimated 28 Hazara were killed in a targeted bomb attack in Quetta last month. Thousands of people have demonstrated internationally in a call for change.

The Hazara community is one of Northern Tasmania's newest and fastest-growing migrant groups. The ethnic minority, originating in Afghanistan, has been persecuted for centuries.

Yesterday's ceremony included a public reading of a verse from the Koran, a minute's silence and a history of the Hazara people.

Hazara Community of Launceston public officer Khodadad Qasemi said the emotional Launceston event was about raising awareness.

"We're very appreciative of the opportunity and chance given to express what has happened," Mr Qasemi said.

"We have quite a deep sense of appreciation and thanks to the Australian government for giving us the opportunity to express what we couldn't before."

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