Shahbaz Bhatti - the latest Pakistani to be murdered for thought-crimes:
Self-describedTalibangunmen have shot deadPakistan's minorities minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, an advocate of reform of the country's blasphemy laws, as he left his Islamabad home.
Two assassins sprayed the Christian minister's car with gunfire, striking him at least eight times, before scattering pamphlets that described him as a "Christian infidel". The leaflets were signed "Talibanal-QaidaPunjab".
Bhatti's 22-year-old niece Mariam was first on the scene. "I rushed out to find his body covered with blood. I said "uncle, uncle" and tried to take his pulse. But he was already dead," she said at Bhatti's house, extending a bloodstained palm. The sound of wailing women rose from the next room.
Bhatti's assassination was the second killing of a politician in Islamabad over blasphemy in as many months, following the assassination of the Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer outside a cafe a few miles away on 4 January.
Dismayed human rights activists said it was another sign of rising intolerance at hands of violent extremists. "I am sad and upset but not surprised," said the veteran campaigner Tahira Abdullah outside Bhatti's house. "These people have a long list of targets, and we are all on it. It's not a matter of if, but when."