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Breaking - Pakistan: Bhutto killed at political rally (updated)
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, December 27, 2007

In an email alert at 7:44 am CBS reported:
An explosion outside a rally for Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has killed at least 20 people, witnesses said. Police said the bombing was a suicide attack. An aide to Bhutto says the politician is unharmed.
But a following CNN email alert reports:
Ex-Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has died, according to media reports.
And the Washington Post is confirming her assassination, not by explosion, but by gunshot wounds:
Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday at a political rally, two months after she returned from eight years of exile to attempt a political comeback, officials said.

Bhutto was shot at close range as she was leaving the rally in this garrison city south of Islamabad, aides said. Immediately after the shooting, a suicide bomber detonated explosives near Bhutto's car, killing at least 15 other people.

Bhutto was rushed to a hospital with extensive wounds to her torso, her supporters said. Shortly after she arrived at the hospital, an official came out of the building and told a crowd of supporters Bhutto was dead.
15 people were killed in the attack per news reports.

CBS has now corrected its alert and said Bhutto is dead. It also increases the number killed to 20.

ABC News is saying she died in the explosion. MSNBC adds this:
A party security adviser said Bhutto was shot in the neck and chest as she got into her vehicle, then the gunman blew himself up.
So it appears the same person who shot her caused the explosion (and must have been very near her when he set them off).

SkyNews quotes a one of their correspondents about the impact of this:
Sky News correspondent Alex Crawford said from Pakistan the country's upcoming January elections would "most likely be postponed or canceled" because of the attack.

"The entire political scene in Pakistan will be torn apart. She will become a martyr in many people's eyes."

"This is an end of a dream for them."
Expect martial law and chaos in Pakistan.

UPDATE: An al Qaeda claim of being responsible for the assassination is now being investigated:
An obscure Italian Web site said Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, al Qaeda's commander in Afghanistan, told its reporter in a phone call, "We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahedeen."

It said the decision to assassinate Bhutto was made by al Qaeda's No. 2 leader, Ayman al Zawahri in October. Before joining Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, Zawahri was imprisoned in Egypt for his role in the assassination of then-Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
If true, one wonders what effect that will have on the Pakistani military campaign in the tribal areas where al Qaeda leaders are believed to be hiding.
"She openly threatened al Qaeda, and she had American support," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism adviser. "If al Qaeda could try to kill Musharraf twice, it could easily do this," he said.

Al Qaeda had claimed responsibility for the bomb attack Oct. 18 during Bhutto's homecoming rally that killed 140 people but left the former prime minister uninjured.
Stay tuned.

UPDATE II: This makes no sense:
Democratic New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, called on President Bush to force Musharraf to step down. Until then, Richardson said the U.S. must suspend military aid to the Pakistani government.

"A leader has died, but democracy must live. The United States government cannot stand by and allow Pakistan's return to democracy to be derailed or delayed by violence," Richardson said.
Isn't this the guy who touts himself as the best foreign policy experience choice among the Democratic presidential field?
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Isn’t Pakistan already under Martial Law, or was that lifted and I just didn’t read about it...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
It had been lifted and the elections rescheduled for Feb.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Ahh...

AKI has reportedly interviewed over the phone AQ’s "media relations" guy, and he’s claiming that it was an AQ hit.

Green-lit by al-Zawahiri...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Animals.....subhuman animals.

That’s all these Islamonuts are.

Still, I can’t imagine this will rally people to their cause. Hopefully Musharref can handle this situation with care (yeah, I know, I know...)
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I can’t help but wonder if Musharref had a hand in this. Then I wonder if AQ picked her as a target to make people wonder if Musharref was involved.

Whatever the case, security was obviously weak if she was shot at close range — inside job?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Netroots blame Bush in 5...4...3...2...
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
Netroots blame Bush in 5...4...3...2...
They have the screed saved...just cut and paste!

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Kos and Huffington are already on it, blaming Bush’s GWoT, his foreign policy, blah blah blah...

Someone kick them, the record’s stuck...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Kos and Huffington are already on it, blaming Bush’s GWoT, his foreign policy, blah blah blah...

Someone kick them, the record’s stuck...
Yup...everyone knows that history started the day G.W. Bush took office. There was never any terror problem anywhere whatsoever before that.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
This was the very first thing I heard after I woke up. Bah.
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
This was the very first thing I heard after I woke up. Bah.
It’s a plot by Bush to ruin your morning...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
How come I’m not hearing anything of her track record? Human Rights Watch said she was a brutal dictator, that’s why she was run out on a rail. She had LOTS o’ enemies, not just Musharraf backers. She’s now the "moral authority" of Pakistan? Can someone explain this please?
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
Post updated with possible al Qaeda connection.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Because of this assassin, Bhutto becomes a martyr and her inadequacies (including charges of widespread graft and corruption) as a prime minister are wiped clean. This makes four for four in the Bhutto family. Dad, two brothers and now Benazir. All assassinated.

Watch the presidential nominees jockey for position. Who will make sense and who will just mouth platitudes?

 
Written By: vnjagvet
URL: http://www.yargb.blogspot.com
who will just mouth platitudes
All of them
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Good bet, Shark. So far, you are right, it appears.
 
Written By: vnjagvet
URL: http://www.yargb.blogspot.com
Shed no tears for this terrorist enabler. She was far worse than Musharraff when she was prime minister. Not only was her administration extremely corrupt, she oversaw the deliberate, unprovoked ethnic cleansing of over 300,000 Pandit Hindus from Kashmir.
May she rot in hell with other “Moderates” like Abdul Nasser and Yassir Arafat.

 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
Isn’t this the guy who touts himself as the best foreign policy experience choice among the Democratic presidential field?
Sad part is, he IS the best they’ve to offer on the matter.
Which means if the Democrats win, we end up with worse than him.
Work the math, folks.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us

 
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