Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Benazir Bhutto assassinated

Stunning developments this morning as the former prime minister of Pakistan, and daughter of its "founding father," is shot by an assassin who then blew himself up.

Bhutto was killed inside a vehicle she had entered only moments before, which would appear to make it an inside job.  From CNN:
Former Pakistan government spokesman Tariq Azim Khan said while it appeared Bhutto was shot, it was unclear if the bullet wounds to her head and neck were caused by a shooting or if it was shrapnel from the bomb. Watch Benazir Bhutto obituary. »

The bomber detonated as he tried to enter the rally where thousands of people gathered to hear Bhutto speak, police said.

The number of wounded was not immediately known. However, video of the scene showed ambulances lined up to take many to hospitals.

The attack came just hours after four supporters of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif died when members of another political party opened fire on them at a rally near the Islamabad airport Thursday, Pakistan police said.

Several other members of Sharif's party were wounded, police said.

Bhutto, who led Paksitan from 1988 to 1990 and was the first female prime minister of any Islamic nation, was participating in the parliamentary election set for January 8, hoping for a third term.

And from the BBC:
The explosion occurred close to an entrance gate of the park in Rawalpindi where Ms Bhutto had been speaking.

Wasif Ali Khan, a member of the PPP who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital, said she died at 1816 (1316 GMT).

... Supporters at the hospital began chanting "Dog, Musharraf, dog", referring to President Pervez Musharraf, the Associated Press (AP) reports.

Some broke the glass door at the main entrance to the emergency unit as others wept.

A man with a PPP flag tied around his head could be seen beating his chest, the agency adds.

An interior ministry spokesman, Javed Cheema, was quoted as saying by AFP that she may have been killed by pellets packed into the suicide bomber's vest.

However, AP quoted a PPP security adviser as saying she was shot in the neck and chest as she got into her vehicle, before the gunman blew himself up.

On CNN, the question was asked: who benefits?

Two words: Pervez Musharraf.

Ms. Bhutto had been the target of assassination attempts before, and she went back to Pakistan anyway. She was a brave woman, and the U.S. should have strongly backed her, rather than hanging on to the dictator in training, Musharraf.

Read an obituary of Ms. Bhutto here.

And a brief history of Pakistan here.

Developing...

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posted by JReid @ 9:30 AM  
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