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US President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the killers of Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti must be brought to justice and said he was saddened by the "horrific" assassination. "I am deeply saddened by the assassination of Pakistan's Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti today in Islamabad, and condemn in the strongest possible terms this horrific act of violence," Obama said.
A letter was found at the scene, purportedly from supporters of al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban, claiming responsibility, police said. "We offer our profound condolences to his family, loved ones and all who knew and worked with him," Obama said in a written statement.
"Those who committed this crime should be brought to justice, and those who share Mr Bhatti's vision of tolerance and religious freedom must be able to live free from fear. British Prime Minister David Cameron said the murder was "absolutely brutal and unacceptable".
"It was absolutely shocking news," Cameron told the House of Commons. "I will send not only our condolences but our clearest possible message to the government and people of Pakistan that this is simply unacceptable," he added.- Meanwhile, Germany condemned the assassination of Bhatti. "The German government condemns the attack and mourns with the relatives," said Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert. Bhatti "paid with his life for his courage, his commitment, and his desire to cultivate harmony between the religious communities in Pakistan," Seibert said. The minister had visited Merkel's Berlin office and was an important and frequent contact for the German embassy in Pakistan, Seibert added.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

Copyright Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 2011

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