NEW YORK  - More than 1,000 Shia Muslims marched in the streets of New York on Friday to voice their anger at the Pakistani government and the Taliban for what they called a ‘genocide’ in their community.

“This demonstration is to condemn the violence of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and all extremists in Islam,” said one 21-year-old US protester of Pakistani descent, who would only give his name as Komal. “They are not considered Muslims, because they are doing what the Quran is against,” he said.

The march — in which many women and children participated - started outside the UN headquarters and wrapped up at the Pakistani consulate.

Demonstrators carried signs bearing slogans such as “Stop the violence. We are people of peace” and “Pakistani Shia have the right to live.” Shias, a minority in Sunni-dominated Pakistan, account for around 20 per cent of the country’s 167-million-strong population.

Nationwide, sectarian violence between militants from the two communities is estimated to have killed more than 4,000 people since the late 1990s.

Last month, a bomb attack claimed by the Taliban on a Shia Muslim procession killed eight and wounded 30 others on the eve of Ashura.

The blast followed another suicide attack - also claimed by the Taliban — that killed 23 people at a Shia procession in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.