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Brazen killing of US citizen prompts new criticism of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — The brazen killing of an American standing trial for blasphemy in Pakistan renewed pressure on Islamabad to reform laws that human rights groups say target minorities.

Tahir Naseem, 57, of Illinois was on trial in Peshawar for claiming to be a prophet. Early Wednesday, a man walked into the city’s busy central courtroom and shot Naseem multiple times at close range.

Video of the killing, circulated on social media, showed police restraining the gunman as Naseem lay in a pool of blood a few feet away. The armed man could be heard saying that the prophet Mohammed told him to kill Naseem in a dream.