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Supporters Of Pakistani Governor's Assassin Clash With Police

Supporters of Mumtaz Qadri shower rose pastels on an ambulance carrying his body for funeral in Rawalpindi, on March 1

Hundreds of hard-line activists in Pakistan have clashed with police and set fires near parliament in the capital of Islamabad to protest the execution of a man who assassinated a governor for criticizing blasphemy laws.

Police on March 27 fired tear gas at the supporters of Mumtaz Qadri, who was executed last month for the 2011 killing of a provincial governor.

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.

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

The Pakistani Army on March 27 deployed troops on the streets of Islamabad after the chaotic protest erupted.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal, AFP, Reuters, and AP