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December 29, 2007 Saturday Zilhaj 18, 1428

Benazir aide says govt explanation ‘pack of lies’

ISLAMABAD, Dec 28: A top aide to slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto on Friday rejected the government’s explanation of her death as a “pack of lies”.

The Pakistan interior ministry said Ms Bhutto died when she hit her head on her vehicle’s sunroof as she ducked after a gun and suicide attack on a campaign rally, and that no bullets or shrapnel were found in her.

“It is baseless. It is a pack of lies,” Farooq Naik, Ms Bhutto’s top lawyer and a senior official in her Pakistan People’s Party, told AFP.

“Two bullets hit her, one in the abdomen and one in the head,” Mr Naik said. “Bhutto’s personal secretary Naheed Khan and party official Makhdoom Amin Fahim were in the car and they saw what happened,” he said.

“It is an irreparable loss and they are turning it into a joke with such claims. The country is heading towards civil war.” Interior ministry spokesman Javed Cheema said earlier that the post-mortem on the populist opposition leader found her mortal wound came when she tried to duck after the bomber attacked.

“The government is now claiming that Baitullah Mehsud is responsible,” Mr Naik told AFP. “What is the evidence?”

He added: “She was taken to hospital. She was bleeding. It was a serious security lapse.”—AFP

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