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December 27, 2007

ALERT: Benazir Bhutto Dead - [Liberrocky]

More details soon.

Update (Slublog) - First reports coming in:

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan, Dec. 27 (AP) - (Kyodo)—(EDS: UPDATING)

Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto died Thursday from her injuries sustained in a suicide attack at a political rally for her here, reports said.

"At 6:16 p.m. she expired," Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto's party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

A senior military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment, confirmed that Bhutto had died, according to the report.

At least 20 people were also killed in the blast, according to witnesses.

Obviously, terrible news. Breitbart reports that Bhutto's supporters are already starting to blame President Musharraf, who may declare emergency (martial) law.

Source: Al Qaeda Claims Responsibility [ace]: That's what a "spokesman" is supposedly saying.

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.

Bhutto had just addressed a pre-election rally on Thursday in the garrison town of Rawalpindi when the bomb went off.

She had come to Rawalpindi after finishing a rapid election campaign, ahead of the January polls, in Pakistan's volatile North West Frontier Province (NWFP) where she had talked about a war against terrorism and al-Qaeda.

Reports say at least 15 other people were killed in the attack and several others injured.

Thanks to muslihoon.

MORE (DrewM.) An obituary that serves as a decent Bhutto primer for those not to familiar with her life and political record.


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