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Tens Of Thousands Mourn Pakistani Who Killed Governor

Tens of thousands of Pakistanis have turned out for the funeral of an executed former police officer who assassinated a governor in 2011.

The crowd gathered on March 1 to pay their last respects to Mumtaz Qadri in the city of Rawalpindi, near Islamabad.

The coffin was then taken to Qadri's ancestral village on the outskirts of the capital.

As a precaution against violence, authorities closed all schools in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Roads around government buildings, the parliament, and diplomatic compounds were also closed off for the day.

Qadri's hanging on February 29 triggered street protests in several cities where some religious figures, political leaders, and militant groups publicly defended him.

Qadri was on guard duty in January 2011 when he shot dead Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab Province who had called for reforms of Pakistan's harsh blasphemy laws.

Qadri accused Taseer of blasphemy and admitted in court that he killed the governor.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP