Pattaya Daily News

28 December 2007 :: 16:12:29 pm 30688

Bhutto Assassinated In Pakistan

Moments from death, a smiling Benazir Bhutto rose through the sunroof of her bulletproof white SUV to salute her cheering countrymen. Wearing a traditional white hijab, which partially concealed her purple jacket, she could not have seen the thin young man with a gun and bomb hiding among the sign-toting supporters.
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Suddenly there were gunshots and an explosion and Bhutto was mortally wounded in an assassination that ignited raging violence across Pakistan Thursday – triggering gunfire and flames and threatening to derail parliamentary elections set for Jan. 8.

At least 20 people were killed in the explosion that turned a cheering crowd into a panic-stricken, blood-covered mob running hysterically through the streets of Rawalpindi.

Random shoes and shredded clothing were scattered along the street. Some of the dead were covered with the flag of Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party.

Others, their clothing torn and their bodies broken and bloodied, lay exposed in the flames, smoke and chaos that followed.

Sardar Qamar Hayyat, a leader from Bhutto’s party, watched helplessly from about 30 feet away as the “thin, young” killer appeared from the crowd following a campaign appearance and pushed toward her car from behind.

Bhutto, 54, was rushed to Rawalpindi General Hospital, where Dr. Abbas Hayat said she underwent emergency surgery as doctors tried feverishly to revive her. Authorities said she died from gunshot wounds to the neck and chest.

“The surgeons confirm that she has been martyred,” said Bhutto’s lawyer, Babar Awan.

  Moments before she was gunned down in a suicide attack that also killed 22 of her supporters, Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto addresses her supporters at a campaign rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Grief-wracked supporters, screaming for justice, hoisted her wooden casket aloft and carried it from the hospital hours later. They chanted anti-government slogans and smashed the glass door at the main hospital entrance in a display of anger and frustration.

Her body was flown in a C-130 military aircraft and taken to the southern Pakistani province of Sindh early today for burial in her family graveyard alongside her father, party officials said. Her husband and their three children accompanied the body.

The assassination set off rioting in Karachi, a southern port city where Bhutto supporters fired at police, burned a gas station and set cars ablaze. Two police officers were wounded by gunmen. Authorities reported nine deaths in rioting across the country.

The murder of the popular former Pakistani prime minister was yet another stunning political assassination in a country whose history is dotted with them.

Source from US/WORLD NEWS

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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