Pakistan’s Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, the country’s only Christian minister, was shot dead on Wednesday in an ambush in Islamabad. Bhatti, 42, was on his way to work from his mother’s house when gunmen attacked his car, spraying it with bullets. While Bhatti had received a number of death threats before because of his faith, which fundamentalists in Pakistan see as a violation of the country’s blasphemy law, his car did not have a security escort. A Punjab-based branch of the Taliban, Tehrik-i-Taliban Punjab, took responsibility for the attack, and left pamphlets at the scene of the crime. Shahbaz Bhatti is the second Pakistani politician killed this year for his efforts to reform the country’s blasphemy law. In January, Punjab’s governor Salman Taseer was shot by one of his own bodyguards.
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