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Indo-Asian News Service
Islamabad, January 04, 2011
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday announced three days of state mourning for Punjab province Governor Salman Taseer, who was killed in an attack in Islamabad. Taseer was shot dead by a guard, Mumtaz Qadri, who was a member of the governor's special security squad. He fired nine bullets from close range as the governor was coming out of a coffee shop towards his vehicle, in Kohsar market in the federal capital. Qadri has been taken into custody and investigations are under way, said Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

The  post mortem examination of Taseer was conducted in a polyclinic in Islamabad before the body was flown to his home in Lahore. Security has been beefed up at sensitive locations while profiles of all officials on VIP duty are being scanned once again.

Fozia Wahab, spokesperson of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party said, "All party engagements have been cancelled and the party will mourn the death for 15 days". "We have given another sacrifice for the country after Benazir Bhutto's assassination in 2007," Wahab said.

Qadri, who pumped nine bullets into Taseer, was recruited in the elite police force in 2002. He said he killed Taseer because of his rejection of the blasphemy law.

Taseer recently expressed support for a blasphemy accused, Aasia Bibi, a Christian convert, who was sentenced to death by stoning on a local clergy's accusation. He also pledged to seek pardon for her from President Asif Ali Zardari.