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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 14:30 GMT
Gunman kills Pakistani minister
Ms Huma died after being shot in the head
A gunman has shot dead a provincial minister in Pakistan just as she was about to address a political meeting.

Zill-e-Huma was social welfare minister in Punjab and an active member of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League.

The shooting took place in the town of Gujranwala, 43 miles (70km) north of the Punjab capital, Lahore. The lone gunman has been arrested.

Meanwhile in south-western Balochistan province, gunmen attacked a minister's convoy but he escaped unhurt.


Ms Huma was meeting Muslim League party activists and supporters when a man got up and opened fire on her, hitting her in the head.

She was taken to a local hospital and then airlifted to a hospital in Lahore, but died during surgery.

Deputy Inspector General of Police for Gujranwala Khadim Bhatti said that those present grabbed the man and took him to the police. He has been named as Ghulam Sarwar.

According to the police, he told them during questioning that women occupying senior positions was against the rule of God, and was an attempt to subjugate men.

Police say that so far they have not established that he is linked to any religious or extremist group.

Punjab law minister Raja Basharat told Reuters news agency that Ms Huma's attacker "fired a bullet into her forehead as she was walking to the dais to speak".

"He is basically a fanatic," he said.

In Baluchistan, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind came under attack when he was travelling near his village in the Lando area, 90 miles (150km) from the provincial capital, Quetta.

"The attackers fired at the convoy with automatic weapons. Three cars were damaged but no one was hurt," Reuters quoted the mayor of the area Sardar Khan Rind as saying.

In Baluchistan province, nationalist militants have been fighting for greater autonomy for several years.

On Saturday, at least 15 people were killed in a suicide attack in Quetta as an explosion tore through a district courts complex while the court was in session.

Among the dead were a judge, several lawyers and court officials.

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