'did not die from shots or blast'
Hundreds of thousands mourned the death of Benazir Bhutto today, as it was claimed that she died from hitting her vehicle's sunroof when she tried to duck after a suicide attack. Pakistan's interior ministry said no bullet or shrapnel was found in her body. Ministry spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema said the opposition leader had died from a head wound she sustained when she smashed against the sunroof's lever as she tried to shelter inside the car.
"The lever struck near her right ear and fractured her skull," Mr Cheema said.
However, the earlier version was quite different. It was said that the assassin was at the entrance to the rally ground, standing in the middle of a crowd of PPP workers shouting slogans.
Benazir stopped the car and stood out from the sunroof of the SUV to wave at party workers. The lone assassin was standing behind the car and he now fired three shots at Benazir Bhutto from close range. Benazir was hit in the back of her neck and back.
Pakistan gripped by violence as Bhutto to be buried
The body of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was Friday flown to her home in southern Pakistan for burial as anger over her assassination exploded into deadly rioting. Protests and rioting spread across Pakistan on Thursday night after the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto
Bhutto's husband and her three children accompanied the coffin as it arrived by helicopter in Naudero town in southern Sindh province where she will be buried later in the day next to her father in the family graveyard.
As Pakistan began three days of mourning, anger over her death triggered violence across the country. Grief-stricken supporters burned vehicles and buildings, blocked roads and screamed abuse at President Pervez Musharraf.
Al-Qaeda claims Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
ISLAMABAD: 27. Dec. 2007.
Pakistani Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was killed in a gun and bomb
attack after a rally in the city of Rawalpindi on Thursday, her party said.
Bhutto was safe as she had already left the area in her vehicle when the blast took place, just minutes after her speech to thousands of supporters.
TV footage showed torn limbs and parts of flesh were spread around the Liaqat Bagh park, the venue of the rally by the former Prime Minister and the leader of the Pakistan People's Party.
Police officials said it was a suicide attack in which about 20 people were killed and several wounded.
"She had just crossed the gate when we heard a deafening sound. We could feel its impact but by the grace of God she is safe," he was quoted as saying.
Bhutto had survived an attempt on her life when two explosions ripped though her homecoming rally in Karachi on October 18, killing more than 140 people.
"The man first fired at Bhutto's vehicle," said a police officer, Mohammad Shahid. "She ducked and then he blew himself up."
At least 16 people were killed in the attack, which occurred on the same day gunmen killed four supporters of another former Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, in Islamabad, police said.
Sharif was several kilometres from the shooting and was on his way to Rawalpindi after attending a rally. He blamed supporters of the pro-Musharraf party for the violence, but a spokesman for the party denied that its workers were involved.
The shooting took place near an office of the Pakistan Muslim League (Q).
"Somebody from inside the election office opened fire," said a senior police official, Shahid Nadeem Baloch.
"But I can't say they were Q people," he said, referring to the pro-Musharraf party. It's an election office and lots of people sit there during election time."
A security official who declined to be identified said the shooting erupted after Sharif supporters tried to hang a banner near the office. Four people were killed, police said.
A spokesman for the pro-Musharraf party dismissed suggestions his workers were responsible as a "baseless allegation". "None of our workers were involved. We strongly condemn this incident and we hope the law will take its course and the culprits are duly punished," said the spokesman, Tariq Azim Khan.
Two vehicles were abandoned at the scene with bullet holes.
After the shooting, police and party guards beefed up security around Sharif, who got into a bullet-proof vehicle.
"This all happened at the behest of the Government," Sharif told supporters on the outskirts of Rawalpindi. "They are 100 per cent responsible, but we are not scared of such actions."
Benazir Bhutto 21 June 1953 - was a Pakistani politician. Bhutto was the first woman elected to lead a post-colonial Muslim state. She was twice elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. She was sworn in for the first time in 1988 but removed from office 20 months later under orders of then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan on grounds of alleged corruption. In 1993 Bhutto was re-elected but was again removed in 1996 on similar charges, this time by President Farooq Leghari.
Bhutto went into self-imposed exile in Dubai in 1998, where she remained until she returned to Pakistan on October 18, 2007, after reaching an understanding with General Musharraf by which she was granted amnesty and all corruption charges were withdrawn.
She was the eldest child of former premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a Pakistani of Sindhi extraction, and Begum ("Lady") Nusrat Bhutto, a Pakistani of Iranian-Kurdish extraction. Her paternal grandfather was Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto who came to Larkana Sindh before partition from his native town of Bhatto Kalan which was situated in the Indian state of Haryana.
She was assassinated on December 27, 2007 in a presumed suicide bomb attack during a political rally of the Pakistan Peoples Party in the town of Rawalpindi. Ex-government spokesman Tariq Azim Khan said that, although it appeared that she'd been shot, it was unclear whether her bullet wounds had been caused by a shooting or shrapnel from the bomb.
Benazir Bhutto was born in Karachi, Dominion of Pakistan on June 21, 1953. She attended the Lady Jennings Nursery School and then the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Karachi. After two years of schooling at the Rawalpindi Presentation Convent, she was sent to the Jesus and Mary Convent at Murree. She passed her O-level examination at the age of 15. She then went on to complete her A-Levels from the Karachi Grammar School.
After completing her early education in Pakistan, she pursued her higher education in the United States. From 1969 to 1973 she attended Radcliffe College, and then Harvard University, where she obtained a B.A. degree cum laude in comparative government. She was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
The next phase of her education took place in the United Kingdom. Between 1973 and 1977 Bhutto studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She completed a course in International Law and Diplomacy while at Oxford. In December 1976 she was elected president of the Oxford Union, becoming the first Asian woman to head the prestigious debating society.
On 18 December 1987 she married Asif Ali Zardari in Karachi. The couple had three children: Bilawal, Bakhtwar, and Aseefa.
Benazir Bhutto's father, former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was dismissed as Prime Minister in 1975, on charges similar to those Benazir Bhutto would later face. Later, in a 1977 trial on charges of conspiracy to murder the father of dissident politician Ahmed Raza Kasuri, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was sentenced to death.
Despite the accusation being "widely doubted by the public", and despite many clemency appeals from foreign leaders, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged on 4 April 1979. Appeals for clemency were dismissed by acting President General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Benazir Bhutto and her mother were held in a "police camp" until the end of May, after the execution.
In 1980, Benazir Bhutto's brother Shahnawaz was killed under suspicious circumstances, in France. The killing of another of her brothers, Mir Murtaza, in 1996, contributed to destabilizing her second term as Prime Minister.
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