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Benazir Bhutto killed in gun and bomb attack

By Matthew Moore and Emma Henry
Last Updated: 2:56am GMT 29/12/2007

Benazir Bhutto, the former Pakistani prime minister, has been killed in a gun and suicide bomb attack at a political rally in Rawalpindi.

  • Obituary: Benazir Bhutto
  • In pictures: Benazir Bhutto's political life
  • Your view: What next for Pakistan?
  • A party security adviser said the opposition leader was shot in the neck and chest as she got into her vehicle to leave the rally, before the gunman blew himself up.

    Benazir Bhutto; Benazir Bhutto killed in suicide bomb attack
    Benazir Bhutto waves to supporters shortly before the bomb attack

    Ms Bhutto, 54, was taken to Rawalpindi General Hospital but died shortly afterwards from her injuries. At least 15 other people were also killed, and 56 people injured.

    Police initially reported that she was safe and unhurt, but a party official later confirmed that the opposition leader had been hurt and was undergoing surgery.

    Pakistan opposition leader Nawaz Sharif vowed to "fight your war from now on" after the assassination and told her supporters outside the hospital that he shared the grief of "the entire nation".

    Some at the hospital smashed the glass door at the main entrance of the emergency unit, while others burst into tears. One man with a flag of Pakistan People's Party tied around his head was beating his chest.

    Sen Babar Awan, Ms Bhutto's lawyer, said: "The surgeons confirmed that she has been martyred."

    This is not the first time Ms Bhutto, who was canvassing supporters ahead of general elections called for Jan 8, has been targeted by terrorists since returning from her eight-year self-imposed exile this year.

    Aftermath of the Rawlpindi blast
    The bloody aftermath of the Rawalpindi blast today

    Bombers attacked her cavalcade as she triumphantly paraded through Karachi in October, killing at least 130 people.

    She accused supporters of Pakistan's late military ruler Mohammed Zia ul-Haq of masterminding the explosion.

    Ms Bhutto, who was educated at Oxford and Harvard, became the first female prime minister of a Muslim country when she took the helm in Pakistan in 1988.

    Her killing was immediately condemned by the United States, which counts Pakistan as a pivotal ally in the US-led "war on terror".

    It is unclear whether the January elections will still go ahead.

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