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updated: 8/26/2011 7:09 AM

Police: Son of slain Pakistani governor kidnapped

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Associated Press

LAHORE, Pakistan -- Gunmen abducted the son of a liberal Pakistani politician who was murdered by an Islamist extremist earlier this year, police said Friday. The victim's brother said he suspected extremists were behind the kidnapping.

Shahbaz Taseer was taken from his car in the city of Lahore Friday, said police officer Abdur Razzaq Cheema. Shaheryar Taseer, Shahbaz's brother, said the family had been receiving threats from militants.

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"It seems they are behind it," he said.

Their father, Punjab governor Salman Taseer, was gunned down by one of his guards in January. The guard confessed and said he carried out the killing because of Taseer's opposition to laws that carry the death penalty for blaspheming Islam. Members of the Taseer family have continued to speak out against extremism since Salman Taseer's death.

Friday, TV showed Shahbaz Taseer's luxury car abandoned in the road of an upmarket Lahore district.

The kidnapping was the second in Lahore in less than two weeks. On Aug. 15, gunmen seized a 70-year-old American aid expert from his house. The man, Warren Weinstein, is still missing, and police have declined to speculate on who may be holding him.

The death of Salman Taseer, and the fact that many Pakistanis did not loudly condemn it, was taken a sign that the country was buckling under intolerance and extremism. Pakistan's wealthy liberal elite were particularly alarmed, sensing their lifestyle was threatened like never before.

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