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Pakistan - The governor of the largest province of Pakistan was assassinated Tuesday in a major market in the capital of the nation - apparently by one of its own security guards, angry over the governor's support for a woman Christian condemned to death for blasphemy.
Police said Salman Taseer, sharp-tongued advocate of embattled President Asif Ali Zardari, and an outspoken critic of religious extremists - was shot several times at the mall, which is near his home in Islamabad frequented by foreigners.
Pakistani news channel quoted a witness said he saw a guard outside Taseer on the vehicle, lift the Kalishnikov rifle, and fire through the window of the car.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the governor is one of the guards surrendered to the police after the shooting and said that he was upset with the support Taseer recent public apology for the Christian woman was sentenced to death for blasphemy.
This position has been earned Taseer threats of Islamic parties, which held a strike last week against the proposed changes to the controversial blasphemy laws. Taseer was out of position, the publication of a December 30 on his Twitter account: "I was under enormous pressure, two more cows down b4 right pressure blasphemy Refused am the Last Man Standing ..
The Pakistani government has announced a three-week period of mourning for the period Taseer, the politician most high-profile deaths in the country since the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto last three years.
Authorities said the security guard was arrested a member of the so-called Elite Force commando mission Punjab police is to provide VIP security.
Militant "has been infiltrated and creeped every part of society, be they police or the army or bureaucracy," Khwaja Asif, the director of the political opposition, told Pakistani journalists on Tuesday. "Intolerance has become a kind of sickness in our society."
Murder has sent new tremors through the politics of Pakistan, which has shaken the political crisis, as a key partner of U.S. allies in the coalition government led by defected to the opposition on Sunday. That move cost the coalition its parliamentary majority.
Taseer was a close adviser to Mr. Zardari, and was known as a firebrand progressive pattern of views in a country where conservative religious groups increasingly rule.