Benazir Bhutto killed in bomb explosion, Scotland Yard says

Investigators from Britain’s Scotland Yard have come to conclusion that Benazir Bhutto, the former leader of the Pakistani opposition, was killed with a bomb blast, but not a gunshot. The conclusion thus supports the previous statement from the Pakistani government which also said that Bhutto was killed in a bomb attack.

The only tenable cause for the fatal head injury of the former prime minister of Pakistan was the blast impact. The bomb that killed Bhutto blew up as she was waving to her supporters from the hatch of her vehicle.

"In my opinion Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto died as a result of a severe head injury sustained as a consequence of the bomb-blast and due to head impact somewhere in the escape hatch of the vehicle," British Home Office pathologist Dr. Nathaniel Cary said in the report, released by the British High Commission in Islamabad, the AP reports.

Benazir Bhutto (June 21, 1953 – December 27, 2007) was a Pakistani politician who chaired the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), a centre-left political party in Pakistan. Bhutto was the first woman elected to lead a Muslim state, having twice been Prime Minister of Pakistan (1988–1990; 1993–1996).

Bhutto was sworn in for the first time in 1988 at the age of 35, but was removed from office 20 months later under the order 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.

Bhutto returned to Pakistan on October 18, 2007, after reaching an understanding with President Pervez Musharraf by which she was granted amnesty and all corruption charges were withdrawn. She was assassinated on December 27, 2007, after departing a PPP rally in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, two weeks before the scheduled Pakistani general election of 2008 where she was a leading opposition candidate.

On December 27, 2007, Bhutto was killed while leaving a campaign rally for the PPP at Liaquat National Bagh, where she had given a spirited address to party supporters in the run-up to the January 2008 parliamentary elections. After entering her bulletproof vehicle, Bhutto stood up through its sunroof to wave to the crowds. At this point, a gunman standing behind and to the left of the vehicle fired three shots at her with a pistol (still photographs exist which show a man in dark glasses holding up a handgun, and film footage has also been shown in which a pistol is seen firing a number of shots whose muzzle-flashes are clearly visible). Immediately afterwards, someone in the area (perhaps the white-robed individual visible in several still photographs standing close to the gunman) detonated explosives stored about their person, killing approximately 20 people. Bhutto was critically wounded and was rushed to Rawalpindi General Hospital. She was taken into surgery at 17:35 local time, and pronounced dead at 18:16.

Bhutto's body was flown to her hometown of Garhi Khuda Bakhsh in Larkana District, Sindh, and was buried next to her father in the family mausoleum at a ceremony attended by hundreds of thousands of mourners.

There was some disagreement about the exact cause of death. Bhutto's husband refused to permit an autopsy or post-mortem examination to be carried out. On December 28, 2007, the Interior Ministry of Pakistan stated that "Bhutto was killed when she tried to duck back into the vehicle, and the shock waves from the blast knocked her head into a lever attached to the sunroof, fracturing her skull". However, a hospital spokesman stated earlier that she had suffered shrapnel wounds to the head and that this was the cause of her death. Bhutto's aides have also disputed the Interior Ministry's account. On December 31st, CNN posted the alleged emergency room admission report as a PDF file. The document appears to have been signed by all the admitting physicians and notes that no object was found inside the wound

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