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Pakistani Police Say Governor's Assassin Acted Alone

Police escort an armored vehicle carrying arrested bodyguard Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the alleged killer of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer in Rawalpindi on January 6.
Police say the bodyguard who killed Punjab's outspoken liberal provincial governor has told a court that he acted alone.

Police said Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, appearing in a Rawalpindi court, also reiterated that he believed it was his religious duty to kill Governor Salman Taseer because of his opposition to Pakistan's blasphemy law.

The controversial legislation makes insulting Islam a capital offense.

More than 50,000 people demonstrated in Karachi on January 9 to express support for Qadri and demand that any effort to amend the blasphemy law be dropped.

Defense lawyers have accused police of bringing Qadri to court one day ahead of a scheduled appearance on January 10 in order to avoid attracting crowds of supporters.

compiled from agency reports