Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto assassinated: Al Qaeda to blame?

CNN is reporting that Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan, was killed today in a suicide bombing attack.

Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been killed in a presumed suicide attack, a military spokesman has announced on TV. Earlier reports said Ms Bhutto had only been injured and taken to hospital. Ms Bhutto had just addressed a pre-election rally in the town of Rawalpindi when the bomb went off.

At least 15 other people are reported killed in the attack and several more were injured. Ms Bhutto had twice been the country's prime minister. She was campaigning ahead of elections due in January.

CNN reports that Bhutto's husband stated that she had suffered a bullet wound to the neck.

Getty Images has graphic photos of the event and its bloody aftermath.

Fox News: "Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday, shot in the neck and chest before a homicide bomber blew himself up at a campaign rally. Twenty others also died."

Stratfor: "Pakistan People's Party workers have set fire to police stations, vehicles and other parties' banners in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, GEO and AAJ television news reported Dec. 27. Rawalpindi's main thoroughfare, Murree Road, which is usually busy with traffic, is completely empty. Arson has also been reported in Karachi and Islamabad."

MSNBC: "Bhutto’s supporters at the hospital began chanting 'Dog, Musharraf, dog…' Some of them smashed the glass door at the main entrance of the emergency unit, others burst into tears."

Reuters adds that police reports indicate a suicide bomber initially fired shots at Bhutto as she left a rally. She ducked and he then detonated.

Sky News speculates that elections will be most likely cancelled or delayed.

Time: "She has been martyred."

Reuters: President Bush will make a statement at 11AM EST.

10:30AM ET: A SkyNews analyst just pinned the attack on Al Qaeda, stating that the modus operandi had all the hallmarks of the group.

Jawa links to Al Qaeda's claim of responsibility:

Via Adnkronos e-news: Karachi, 27 Dec. (AKI) - (by Syed Saleem Shahzad) - 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.

Death squads were allegedly constituted for the mission and ultimately one cell comprising a defunct Lashkar-i-Jhangvi’s Punjabi volunteer succeeded in killing Bhutto.

Gateway Pundit, Jammie Wearing Fool, Jules Crittenden, Don Surber and Jawa have additional details and insights.

High-resolution or unwatermarked photographs can be ordered from Getty Images.

No comments: