Pakistan Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti shot dead
Pakistani Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti has been shot dead by gunmen who ambushed his car in broad daylight in the capital, Islamabad.
He was travelling to work through a residential district when his vehicle was sprayed with bullets, police said.
Mr Bhatti, the cabinet's only Christian minister, had received death threats for urging reform to blasphemy laws.
In January, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who had also opposed the law, was shot dead by one of his bodyguards.
The blasphemy law carries a death sentence for anyone who insults Islam. Critics say it has been used to persecute minority faiths.
Mr Bhatti, 42, a leader of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP), had just left his mother's home in a suburb of the capital when several gunmen surrounded his vehicle and riddled it with bullets, say witnesses.
Shahbaz Bhatti's car was riddled with bullets
The minister's driver was spared.
Mr Bhatti was taken to the nearby Shifa hospital, but was dead on arrival.
The gunmen, who were wearing shawls, escaped in a white Suzuki car, according to witnesses.