Pakistan minister escapes assassination attempt

Hamid Saeed Kazmi (center) and his driver are helped into an ambulance at the site of the shooting.
Pakistan’s religious affairs minister escaped with a minor injury in an attack that killed his driver Wednesday.

The attack took place at an Islamabad market, next to a police station, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan said. The minister, Hamid Saeed Kazmi, was shot in the leg but his injury was not serious, hospital officials said. The minister’s driver, however, died in the attack, the APP said. Kazmi, 51, is the federal minister for religious affairs and member of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Security analyst Hasan Askari-Rizvi told CNN affiliate the attack shows that the serious security problems in the country remain.

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“If this type of attack can take place in the center of Islamabad,” he said, “then nowhere in Pakistan is safe.” Wednesday’s attack comes a day after Pakistani officials claimed fighting in the northwest of the country left 43 militants dead and two commanders captured. The deaths came as a result of a military operation in Bara, in the Khyber Agency, according to the agency’s Office of Political Administration.