Dec 27 2007

Benazir Bhutto Killed In Suicide Attack

Published by at 1:06 pm under All General Discussions

Attempting to repost lost posts – LJ

Well, for all her reaching out to Islamists in Pakistan Benazir Bhutto’s efforts were answered by bombs and bullets:

Pakistan former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has died after a suicide bombing that killed at least 14 of her supporters, ex-government spokesman Tariq Azim Khan and Pakistan’s primary television networks said.
Bhutto suffered bullet wounds in the aftermath of the bomb attack, TV networks report.
Video of the scene just moments before the explosion showed Bhutto stepping into a heavily-guarded vehicle to leave the rally.
Khan said while it appeared Bhutto was shot, it was unclear if her bullet wounds were caused by a shooting or shrapnel from the bomb.
The suicide attack left at least 14 dead and 40 injured, Khan told CNN in a telephone interview.
The attacker is said to have detonated a bomb as he tried to enter the rally where thousands of people gathered to hear Bhutto speak, police said.

It seems my timing is off on my post below on Pakistani politics. I have harbored doubts about Bhutto, but in the post below I began to see her as the least bad option out of many bad options. What is should be investigated is whether either of her two main rivals (Nawaz Sharif or Imran Khan) were behind the killing of Bhutto. These other two were much more comfortable with the Islamic extremists and have supporters in key places to get past Bhutto’s security.
However, I am sure the rumor mill will begin with Musharraf. I doubt he his since he has his position of power sealed up for now. In any event, Pakistan needs to identify a pro-American candidate as an option in the up coming elections ASAP. I cannot fathom a pro-Taliban (al-Qaeda) government with access to nuclear weapons. This does play right into the hands of Bin Laden and his dreams of world dominance (with many parts of the world smoldering in destruction).
Addendum: I missed this key piece in the article:
Earlier, four supporters of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif died when members of another political party opened fire on them at a rally near the Islamabad airport Friday, local police said.
Several other members of Sharif’s party were wounded, police added.
Staged act or are the extremists trying to cull the field of anyone not of their choosing? Again, it looks like an all out effort to topple Pakistan by way of killing off candidates until the one the extremists prefer is left.
Update: This looks to be confirmed now:

Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide bombing that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, a party aide and a military official said.
“At 6:16 p.m. she expired,” said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto’s party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital where she was taken after the attack.
A senior military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment, confirmed that Bhutto had died.
A Reuters witness at the scene said he heard two shots moments before the blast.
“As party leaders, including Bhutto, started coming out a man tried to go close to them and then he fired some shots and blew himself up,” said Yaseen, a police officer, at the scene.

More later if I have a chance to take a break from work.

Addendum: Some additional thoughts based on reporting I heard this morning while commuting. Since Musharraf worked to allow Bhutto back in and worked out an amnesty deal for her return I think it unlikely he would stoop to assassination at this late date. Not to mention the fact this act makes it much worse on him nationally. I also heard that there had been persistent rumors of an ISI plot to assassinate Bhutto for weeks, which would lend credence to the idea the act was meant to disrupt the government in support of the more extreme elements of Pakistan.
It seems Bhutto was at a political rally for other candidates outside Islamabad, so I would start looking there since the timing of the attack and the ability to circumvent security was clearly critical to a successful assassination. Did Bhutto set herself up by trying to reach out to the more extreme Islamic elements in Pakistan? Seems like a likely sequence of events that would bring about the desired national disruption we are seeing in Pakistan now. Anyway, my initial thoughts on the matter.

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