ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)– Gumen have shot and killed Pakistan’s Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian, who publicly challenged the country’s controversial blasphemy laws and demanded more rights for minority Christians in the mainly Islamic nation.
Police said was shot dead Wednesday, March 2, while traveling in a car near a market of the capital Islamabad. He was the only Christian in the cabinet.
It came shortly after Bhatti told BosNewsLife he had received death threats and that he needed more protection.
“The initial reports are that there were three men who attacked him. He was probably shot using a Kalashnikov, but we are trying to ascertain what exactly happened,” Islamabad police chief Wajid Durrani told reporters.
News reports said bullets hit Bhatti’s car four or five times through the windshield. Blood covered the back seat, witnesses said.
News reports quoted a hospital spokesman as saying Bhatti received several wounds.
He had been known for publicly opposing the anti-blasphemy law and personally demanded the release of a Christian mother of four, Asia Bibi. She was sentenced to death over allegedly making blasphemous statements about Islam, charges she strongly denies.
Bhatti was the second prominent politician to be killed in recent weeks.