Benazir Bhutto Killed in Attack on Rally

Former Pakistani PM dies in surgery; 15 others killed in suicide bombing

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 27, 2007 7:13 AM CST

(Newser) – Benazir Bhutto died in surgery today after an explosion at a rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The suicide attacker detonated a bomb as the former prime minister left the rally where thousands were gathered to hear her speak. "She has been martyred," said a spokesman for Bhutto's party. The interior ministry confirmed Bhutto's death, but the government has said nothing about the fate of January's election. At least 15 others died in the blast.

It remains unknown if Bhutto died from the bombing itself or a near-simultaneous close-range shooting. The opposition leader's death comes only hours after a shooting at a rally for another candidate, Nawaz Sharif. Pervez Musharraf has not made any announcement about Bhutto's death and whether he will cancel elections or reimpose martial law.

Supporters of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto offer her shawl, a gesture of respect, during her visit to Peshawar, Pakistan for the election campaign, Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007. Bhutto and other leaders are campaigning for the coming Pakistan's general elections in January 2008. (AP Photo/Mohammad Zubair)
Supporters of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto offer her shawl, a gesture of respect, during her visit to Peshawar, Pakistan for the election campaign, Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007. Bhutto and...   (Associated Press)
Pakistan's opposition leader Benazir Bhutto addresses her election rally in Lodhra, near Multan, Pakistan, on Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2007.(AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer)
Pakistan's opposition leader Benazir Bhutto addresses her election rally in Lodhra, near Multan, Pakistan, on Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2007.(AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer)   (Associated Press)
A survivor grieves over the dead and wounded following a bomb blast attack on former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto December 27, 2007 following a campaign rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The opposition leader has died from wounds to the neck and head after speaking at an election rally in the northern...
A survivor grieves over the dead and wounded following a bomb blast attack on former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto December 27, 2007 following a campaign rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The opposition...   (Getty Images)
A Pakistani supporter of former premier Benazir Bhutto shouts for help as he sits next to an injured at the suicide attack site in Rawalpindi 27 December 2007. Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a suicide attack, just two months after the former premier returned from exile for...
A Pakistani supporter of former premier Benazir Bhutto shouts for help as he sits next to an injured at the suicide attack site in Rawalpindi 27 December 2007. Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto...   (Getty Images)
Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto waves to her supporters during an election campaign in the southern city of Rahim Yar Khan, Pakistan on Monday, Dec. 24, 2007. Bhutto said her agenda was to empower the people, to educate the people, to provide employment opportunity the people, to end the...
Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto waves to her supporters during an election campaign in the southern city of Rahim Yar Khan, Pakistan on Monday, Dec. 24, 2007. Bhutto said her agenda was...   (Associated Press)
Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto wears a shawl presented by her supporters, a gesture of respect, during her visit, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2007, Peshawar, Pakistan, for the election campaign.  Bhutto and other leaders are campaigning for Pakistan's upcoming general elections in January 2008. (AP Photo/Mohammad Zubair)
Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto wears a shawl presented by her supporters, a gesture of respect, during her visit, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2007, Peshawar, Pakistan, for the election campaign....   (Associated Press)
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