Pakistani religion minister shot

Pakistan's minister for religious affairs has been wounded and his driver killed in a gun attack in Islamabad.

The minister, Hamid Saeed Kazmi, was hit in the leg when two gunmen shot into his car as he left work.

Another passenger in the vehicle believed to be a security guard was also injured, police say.

The attackers escaped on a motorbike. It is not clear who carried out the attack. Mr Kazmi has been an outspoken critic of the Taliban.

The security forces in Islamabad have been put on high alert.

'State of shock'

Television footage showed Mr Kazmi being taken away in an ambulance. There were blood stains on the car's seats and its windows were shattered.

"Gunmen sprayed bullets on the minister's car," a police officer told Reuters news agency.

Senior medical official Shaukat Hameed Kiani said Mr Kazmi's leg had been fractured by a bullet.

"His condition is stable, but he is in a state of shock," he said.

Shazia Nazir, a doctor at the hospital treating Mr Kazmi, told the AFP news agency that the minister's driver had been brought in dead, with a bullet wound to the head, and that a security guard had been seriously wounded.

Health Minister Aijaz Jhakrani has denied there were any lapses in security, saying the incident was "a targeted attack", AFP reported.

The BBC's Aleem Maqbool in Islamabad says Mr Kazmi has been involved in the Pakistani government's controversial drive to reform religious schools in the country.

He has been working with leading clerics to issue a fatwa, declaring suicide bombing un-Islamic.