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Taliban Fatally Shoot Sikh Lawmaker in Pakistan

FILE - Supporters of Pakistani civil society groups rally against Taliban and militants in Lahore, Pakistan. Jan. 5, 2015.

Taliban extremists in northwestern Pakistan on Friday gunned down a provincial legislator belonging to the minority Sikh community.

Soran Singh was ambushed in the restive Buner district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, police said, adding that an investigation was underway.

The outlawed Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the assassination.

In a statement sent to reporters, a spokesman for the militant group, Muhammad Khorasani, vowed to continue such “targeted attacks until the implementation of an Islamic system in Pakistan."

The slain lawmaker was also an adviser to the provincial government on minority affairs and belonged to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party, which heads the ruling coalition in the province bordering Afghanistan.

Sikhs make up less than 1 percent of Pakistan's 190 million people. The founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, was born in 1469 in a small village near Lahore, the second-largest Pakistani city.

The Pakistani Taliban have been waging a deadly insurgency against the state, but officials say military-led operations continue against the group’s strongholds in tribal areas near Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.