Bhutto assassinate blamed on al-Qaeda
Saturday, 29 December 2007

Bhutto assassinate blamed on al-Qaeda
Baitullah Mehsud
Pakistan says it has strong proof that al-Qaeda assassinated opposition politician Benazir Bhutto at an election rally on Thursday.
 
The interior ministry said it had intelligence indicating Baitullah Mehsud, whom it called an "al-Qaeda leader", was behind the killing.
 
Baitullah Mehsud is a wanted pro-Taleban militant leader based in the South Waziristan tribal region.
 
Ms Bhutto has been buried in her family tomb amid scenes of mass grieving.
 
Video of her last moments before the attack in Rawalpindi was shown at the news conference given in Islamabad by the interior ministry.
 
Addressing reporters, ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said the primary cause of Ms Bhutto's death appeared to have been a knock on her head as she tried to duck her attacker, and not bullets or shrapnel.
 
A surgeon who treated her, Dr Mussadiq Khan, had earlier said she may have died from a shrapnel wound.
 
Brig Cheema added that all possible security arrangements had been put in place for Ms Bhutto.
 
Her supporters say the government did not do enough to protect her.
 
After a previous attempt on her life in October, Ms Bhutto accused rogue elements of the Pakistani intelligence services of involvement.
 
'Congratulations'
 
Pakistani intelligence services had intercepted a call from Baitullah Mehsud in which he allegedly congratulated another militant after Bhutto's death, Brig Cheema said.
 
There was, he added, "irrefutable evidence that al-Qaeda, its networks and cohorts were trying to destabilise Pakistan".
 
Talking about the cause of Ms Bhutto's death, the spokesman said she had died from a head wound.
 
It was, he said, sustained when she smashed against the sunroof's lever as she tried to shelter inside the car from the gunman, who set off a bomb after opening fire with a gun.
 
"The lever struck near her right ear and fractured her skull," he said.
 
"There was no bullet or metal shrapnel found in the injury."
 
Ms Bhutto's security adviser Rehman Malik had earlier said she had been shot in the neck and chest by the gunman.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7163307.stm
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