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Former Pakistani PM and Opposition Leader Benazeer Bhutto just got assassinated 40 minutes ago. She was shot by a gunman who proceeded to blow himself up after shooting her, killing 20 others as well.
A party security adviser said Bhutto was shot in neck and chest as she got into her vehicle to leave the rally in Rawalpindi near the capital Islamabad. A gunman then blew himself up.
"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.
The only question now is, who is behind this? The method of assassination is one used by Islamic militants, and they did try to assassinate her before, within hours of her return, resulting in the deadliest suicide bombing in Pakistan's history. Now, Bhutto had 2 people who, politically speaking, would benefit from her death: Musharraf and Nawaz Sherif. Bhutto did rub Nawaz the wrong way, especially with her insistence on not boycotting the elections-like he plans to- which weakens the position of his opposition party on the illegitimacy's of the pakistani elections. Nawaz also reportedly has strong ties with the islamist parties in Pakistan, so he also has the following that could do such a thing. However, the Bhutto supporters seem to have placed the blame on Musharraf instead:
Her supporters at the hospital began chanting "Dog, Musharraf, dog," referring to Pakistan's president Pervez Musharraf.
Some smashed the glass door at the main entrance of the emergency unit, others burst into tears. One man with a flag of Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party tied around his head was beating his chest.
That being said, the woman did have many other enemies than just Nawaz and Musharraf, both of which have more to lose if suspected of being behind her murder. She was on the hit list of both Al Qaeda and Al Taliban, not to mention other islamist terrorist groups. This could've been caused by anybody. I guess the next few days will tell. Or maybe hours. No one issued a statement of responsibility yet. It's very unlikely that it was an independent agent though, the woman is hated by many and considered the symbol of opportunism and corruption, but a gun and a suicide bomber belt? Not easy to come by if you are acting solo. I mean, sure, it's Pakistan, but come on. A group was behind this. The only question left is who.
Update: Here are some Pictures from the Attack:
Update: Al Qaeda took responsbility for the assassination:
A spokesperson for the al-Qaeda terrorist network has claimed responsibility for the death on Thursday of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
“We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahadeen,” Al-Qaeda’s commander and main spokesperson Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid told Adnkronos International (AKI) in a phone call from an unknown location, speaking in faltering English. Al-Yazid is the main al-Qaeda commander in Afghanistan.
It is believed that the decision to kill Bhutto, who is the leader of the opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP), was made by al-Qaeda No. 2, the Egyptian doctor, Ayman al-Zawahiri in October.