Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated

I'm watching this on CNN right now. Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today at a rally in Pakistan. There was a suicide bomber at the rally. Ms. Bhutto was shot in the neck AFTER the bomb. Fifteen others were killed at the rally.

I'll update later.

Ms. Bhutto leaves behind a husband and three children.


The Angry Independent

Benazir Bhutto killed in Suicide Attack

Pakistan in Chaos

UN Security Council To Go Into Emergency Session.

One of the most powerful leaders in Pakistan and in the Muslim world, Bhutto was the first female Prime Minister of the Country and one of the first female leaders of a major Muslim Country. She was also leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, one of the largest Parties in Pakistan. She was the daughter of former Pakistani President & Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Pervez Musharraf will have his hands full trying to keep a lid on this situation. Many will wonder if he was involved.


The Angry Independent

Nawaz Sharif also under attack. Could this assasination have been part of a larger coordinated plot?

Meanwhile, unrest is spreading in Pakistan with riots reported across the country. Civil conflict is now a possibility.



RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday after addressing a large gathering of her supporters.

Bhutto died of a gunshot wound to the neck, the Pakistani Interior Ministry said. The attacker then blew himself up. The bomb attack killed at least 22 others, doctors said.

Video of the scene just moments before the explosion showed Bhutto stepping into a heavily guarded vehicle to leave the rally.

John Moore, a photographer for Getty Images, said Bhutto was standing through the sunroof of her vehicle, waving to supporters, when two shots rang out.

Bhutto fell back into the vehicle, and almost immediately a bomb blast rocked the scene, sending twisting metal and shrapnel into the crowd, he added.

Police sources told CNN the bomber, who was riding a motorcycle, blew himself up near Bhutto's vehicle.

Bhutto was rushed to Rawalpindi General Hospital -- less than two miles from the bombing scene -- where doctors pronounced her dead.

Her body was removed from the hospital -- carried above a crowd of supporters -- late Thursday night, about six hours after the assassination.

Chaos erupted at the hospital when former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived to pay his respects to Bhutto less than three hours after her death.

Hundreds of Bhutto supporters crammed into the entrance shouted and cried, some clutching their heads in pain and shock. Sharif called it "the saddest day" in Pakistan's history. "Something unthinkable has happened," he said

Sharif said his party will boycott Pakistan's January 8 parliamentary elections in the wake of the assassination.

President Pervez Musharraf said the killers were the same extremists that Pakistan is fighting a war against, and announced three days of national mourning.

Police warned citizens to stay home as they expected rioting to break out in city streets in reaction to the death.

Rioters burned tires and blocked roads in Karachi and other cities, police sources said. Police fired on an angry mob, killing two people, in the city of Khairpur in the Sindh province, Geo TV reported.

Bhutto's husband issued a statement from his home in Dubai saying, "All I can say is we're devastated, it's a total shock." He arrived in Pakistan late Thursday.

President Bush said those responsible "must be brought to justice" and praised Bhutto as a woman who had "fought the forces of terror." He said: "She refused to allow assassins to dictate the course of her country."

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

The assassination happened in Rawalpindi's Liaquat Bagh Park, named for Pakistan's first prime minister -- Liaquat Ali Khan -- who was assassinated in the same location in 1951.

The attack came just hours after 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 Thursday, Pakistan police said.

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

Bhutto, who led Pakistan 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.

A terror attack targeting her motorcade in Karachi killed 136 people on the day she returned to Pakistan after eight years of self-imposed exile. View timeline. »

CNN's Mohsin Naqvi, who was at the scene of both bombings, said Thursday's blast was not as powerful as that October attack.

Thursday's attacks come less than two weeks after Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf lifted an emergency declaration he said was necessary to secure his country from terrorists.

Bhutto had been critical of what she believed was a lack of effort by Musharraf's government to protect her.

Two weeks after the October assassination attempt, she wrote a commentary for in which she questioned why Pakistan investigators refused international offers of help in finding the attackers.

"The sham investigation of the October 19 massacre and the attempt by the ruling party to politically capitalize on this catastrophe are discomforting, but do not suggest any direct involvement by General Pervez Musharraf," Bhutto wrote.

I think of her 3 children; only one is ' of age.' How they were worried for her. I read about her; how she had her frivolous years at Harvard and Oxford. But, somewhere along the line, frivolity went away, and she grew up. She took the mantle from her father and brother and stepped up to the plate. Not liking what she saw, she came back to Pakistan, because of that pull of duty to her people. Was she perfect? Of course not. But, she believed in 'The Pakistani People' and wanted to help fight for her country against those that would clap down on her as a woman and strip her of any and all freedoms. She WAS a ' Moderate Muslim', and sadly, I believe she was killed because of it.

I have been writing about Pakistan for a few months. Pointing out that it really is the most dangerous place on Earth right now. As usual, the U.S. backed the wrong guy, Musharraf, for too long. By propping him up as long as we have, we have been eroding the middle ground of Pakistan. The longer we continue to prop him up, the LESS LIKELY it will be that the person who replaces him will be as friendly to the United States. Make no mistake; there are a lot of shady characters in the world - we deal with a lot of them. But, better a shady character that we can work with, rather than the militant Islamists who wouldn't hesitate to give their fellow Militant Islamists one of the nukes that Pakistan controls.


Marco Borgna said...

sad sad sad

abdul ronif said...

i feel very sad for the benazir bhutto........

The Angry Independent said...

Thank you Rikyrah.

This was not what I was expecting when I fired up my computer this morning.

I'm going to have to go back to sleep.... but if you can please continue to update throughout the day, if more information comes out.

The Angry Independent said...

Bush: "Those Who Committed This Crime, Must Be Brought To Justice"

What if his buddy Pervez or his people had a hand it this? Then what?

The U.S. has to make a choice once and for all.

Roy Sencio said...

The Bhutto Assassination really shakes things up in Pakistan, and will have worldwide implications especially for the US, maybe time to reassess foreign policy towards a Musharaf Pakistan.

Anonymous said...

Realy Sad.. :-((

Sherdil Jehangir Awan said...

Realy Sad... :-((

shubham singh said...

sad and makes you angry that you see that there is no security left in pakistan

more so see the fate her father was hanged in the same town of rawalpindi and now she was assassinated there in the same city........

Muslims Against Sharia said...

Muslims Against Sharia condemn the murderers responsible for the assassination of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her supporters.

Our prayers are with the victims of this atrocity. We send our condolences to their loved ones.

May the homicide bomber rote in hell for eternity. May his accomplices join him soon!

JAGS said...

This was a really tragic event that happened today.

Its interesting that when Musharraf addressed the Pakistani nation to condemn Bhutto's death he did not once say that those responsible will be brought to justice. He just said she was killed by the same terrorists the nation has been fighting and we will continue the fight.

Its sad but the investigation of the earlier attempts to kill Bhutto havent progressed or yielded anything in over two months.
Hopefully international pressure this time will lead to a serious investigation that finds the culprits.

Anonymous said...

What is the $50-million per month that we send to Pakistan going towards again? Oh, yeah -- propping up the sponsors of terrorism.