Phone Call Ties al-Qaeda to Bhutto Killing

Pakistan releases transcript as rioting claims at least 23 lives
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2007 2:24 PM CST
People carry the coffin of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto for burial at her ancestral grave yard in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh near Larkana, Pakistan, on Friday, Dec. 28, 2007. Bhutto was killed...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – The Pakistani government offered the transcript of an intercepted phone call today as evidence that the Benazir Bhutto's murder was the work of Baitullah Mehsud, an extremist linked to al Qaeda and the Taliban, the AP reports. In the transcript, Mehsud congratulates an operative for a "spectacular job" in the suicide bombing, saying, "They were very brave boys who killed her."

Mehsud is also said to be behind the October assassination attempt on Bhutto that left more than 140 dead. Meanwhile, rioters who blame the government for the attack ransacked banks and factories, burned trains and train stations, and battled police as the chaos erupting across the country claimed at least 23 lives. "Nobody is secure, there is total insecurity," said ex-PM and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif.