Assassination attempt on Pakistan's Religious Affairs Minister
Zarar Khan, Associated Press
San Francisco Chronicle, September 3, 2009
Suspected militants opened fire on a vehicle carrying Pakistan's religious affairs minister Wednesday, wounding him and killing his driver in a brazen attack in the heart of the capital.
Hamid Saeed Kazmi had been critical of Muslim extremists blamed for scores of attacks in Pakistan over the last 21/2 years.
Fellow ministers said the Taliban were suspected in the shooting, which took place as police in Islamabad were on high alert amid fears of revenge attacks following the Aug. 5 killing of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in a CIA missile strike.
"We are not scared - we are not afraid of these cowardly acts," said Health Minister Ejaz Jhakrani.
The broad daylight ambush raised fresh fears for security in Pakistan's cities, in addition to the northwestern border areas where the military has battled al Qaeda-linked extremists.
Pakistan recently intensified its fight against various Islamist militant groups in the country's northwest, including a new operation in the Khyber region near the Afghan border that the military said destroyed six bases Wednesday.
Pakistan minister escapes assassination attempt - CNN
Six suspects held for attack on Kazmi: Hunt on for collaborator of attackers in ministry - DT