An update from the Canadian Press, “Pakistan in turmoil over Bhutto’s assassination, Musharraf blames terrorists”:
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan – Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan’s opposition leader and one of the country’s best known politicians, was assassinated Thursday in a stunning suicide attack that also killed at least 20 others at a rally.
The death of the charismatic former prime minister threw the campaign for the Jan. 8 parliamentary election into chaos and stirred fears of mass protests across Pakistan, a key ally for the West in the war against terrorism.
A wave of violence had already begun by Thursday night. In anger and grief, protesters rioted in the southern port city of Karachi, firing shots at police, setting tires and cars on fire and burning a gas station. One person was killed north of Karachi in the violent aftermath of the assassination.
Violence also erupted in other cities in Pakistan.
President Pervez Musharraf blamed terrorists for Bhutto’s death and urged the nation to remain calm.
“This is the work of those terrorists with whom we are engaged in war,” Musharraf said in a nationally televised speech.
“I want to express my resolve and seek the co-operation from the entire nation and we will not rest until we eliminate these terrorists and root them out,” the president said.
No one claimed responsibility for the assassination.
Really? What about this?
Bhutto’s supporters blamed the president for complicity, but suspicion was likely to fall on Islamic militants linked to al-Qaida and the Taliban, who hated Bhutto for her close ties to the Americans and support for the war on terrorism. A local Taliban leader reportedly threatened to greet Bhutto’s return to the country from exile in October with suicide bombings.
In Karachi, shop owners quickly closed their businesses as riots broke out. Fayyaz Leghri, a local police official, said gunmen shot and wounded two police officers.
One man was killed in a shootout between police and protesters in Tando Allahyar, a town 190 kilometres north of Karachi, said Mayor Kanwar Naveed. In the town of Tando Jam, protesters forced passengers to get out of a train and then set it on fire.
Violence also broke out in Lahore, Multan, Peshawar and many other parts of Pakistan, where Bhutto’s supporters burned banks, state-run grocery stores and private shops. Some set fire to election offices for the ruling party, according to Pakistani media….