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Pakistani Christian minister shot dead amid blasphemy row

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Pakistani Christian minister shot dead amid blasphemy row


In Islamabad gunmen have shot dead Pakistan’s Minister for Minorities. Shabaz Bhatti, the only Christian in the government cabinet, was murdered on Wednesday in the gun attack on his car.

The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for the killing, calling Bhatti a blasphemer. He had been calling for changes to the country’s blasphemy law under which anyone who speaks ill of Islam can face the death penalty.

Bhatti had said he had recently received death threats from the Taliban.

The controversial law has been in the spotlight since November when a court sentenced a Christian mother-of-four to death.

Bhatti is the second senior official to be killed this year for the same reason. The governor of Punjab province, Salman Taseer was gunned down by his bodyguard in January. Taseer had been a vocal critic of the blasphemy laws.

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