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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Conspiracy theory abound

Al-Qaeda denies killing Bhutto
Sat, 29 Dec 2007 16:57:43

Al-Qaeda-linked militant Baitullah Mehsud denies being involved in the assassination of Bhutto, accusing the government of killing her.

"I strongly deny it. Tribal people have their own customs. We don't strike women," said Mehsud's spokesman Maulvi Omar who is also the official spokesman for the Taliban in Pakistan.

The government said on Friday that Mehsud was responsible for Bhutto's killing as she left an election rally in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, close to Islamabad, on Thursday.

But the militant's spokesman said Bhutto was a victim of President Pervez Musharraf's security apparatus, repeating a conspiracy theory many Pakistanis are willing to believe.

"This was a well-planned conspiracy carried out by the intelligence agencies, army and government for their own political motives,"Omar said.

Mehsud also issued a swift denial of any involvement in the attack on her homecoming parade that killed at least 139 people in Karachi after suspicion fell on him.


Pak rules out Int'l probe on Bhutto
Sat, 29 Dec 2007 22:27:51

Interior ministry spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema

Pakistani Interior ministry rejects any international help in probing Bhutto's death, saying they don't understand Pakistan's environment.

With questions raised about the official account of how she died, which has been rejected by Bhutto's aides and supporters, ministry spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema said the Pakistan government had told the truth.

He added that the government would let the former premier's body be exhumed for inquiry if Bhutto's party asked.

"We do not require the assistance of the international community," he said when asked about calls for an outside probe into her assassination, which has plunged the nuclear-armed nation deeper into turmoil.

"We understand the environment, the international community does not understand the environment," Cheema told a news conference.

The government said that Bhutto died after banging her head on the sunroof of her vehicle while trying to duck when an attacker came up and started firing before blowing herself up. It said she had no bullet wounds.

The account has been rejected by her Pakistan People's Party (PPP), and a key aide and witness who washed her body.

"There was a bullet wound I saw that went in from the back of her head and came out the other side," said Bhutto's spokeswoman Sherry Rehman, who was involved in washing her body for burial.


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