07.01.2008 General News

Bhutto's death her own fault

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“Former Pakistani Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto's assassination was her own fault”, the country's president, Pervez Musharraf, said in an interview on U.S. television.

Bhutto sat on stage at a campaign rally minutes before her assassination.

"For standing up outside the car, I think it was she to blame alone and nobody else. Responsibility is hers," the former said.

Bhutto was killed December 27 in Rawalpindi, south of the Pakistani capital Islamabad, while standing in an armoured moving car after rallying supporters for now-postponed parliamentary elections. Her head was above the roof and unprotected at the time of the attack.

The cause of her death is not clear: a bomber blew himself up near Bhutto's limousine and videotape showed a gunman present, though no autopsy has been carried out.

Asked if Bhutto could have been shot, Musharraf said, "Yes, absolutely. Yes, possibility." He has said he welcomes an international investigation.

Musharraf, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999, rejected criticism that his government did not do enough to provide security to Bhutto, who was seeking to regain the post of prime minister. He noted that she had already survived one assassination attempt and "was given more security than any other person."

He added that if she had not come out of the protected and armoured vehicle, maybe we would have seen her smiling face again today."

Information from the Pakistan interior ministry say the former leader died when she hit her head on the lever of her car's sunroof after ducking for cover after a suicide bomb attack on her convoy.

However, supporters of Bhutto insist she was shot prior to the explosion, a view that some say is supported by video footage of the moments before the blast.

Meanwhile, detectives from Britain's Scotland Yard on Sunday once again examined the white Land Cruiser that Bhutto was riding in when she was assassinated to find out clearly what the cause of her death is.


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