Taliban kills Pakistani Christian minister for blasphemy

By REUTERS
March 2, 2011 12:57

 
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ISLAMABAD - Gunmen shot dead Pakistan's only Christian government minister on Wednesday for challenging a law that mandates the death penalty for insulting Islam, the second top official killed this year over the blasphemy law.

The assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, minister for minorities, is the latest sign of deep political instability in the nuclear-armed U.S. ally. Frequent militant attacks and chronic economic problems have raised fears for Pakistan's future.

Pakistani Taliban militants claimed responsibility for killing Bhatti, with a Taliban spokesman saying the minister was a blasphemer.

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