Pakistan Charges 5 in Bhutto Murder

Top Taliban leader and others accused of plotting assassination
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2008 6:32 PM CST
Pakistani police officers escort suspect Aitezaz Shah, center, a teenager allegedly involved in the assassination of Pakistan's opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, after he appeared at an anti-terrorism...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Police in Pakistan have filed charges against five men, including the country’s top Taliban commander, accusing them of planning the December assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the AP reports. President Pervez Musharaff had named the Taliban leader (and suspected al-Qaeda operative), Baitullah Mehsud, days after the attack, but today’s formal accusation led a judge to issue warrants for his and his co-conspirators’ arrest.

It is not clear if the police are close to finding Mehsud, who is based near the border with Afghanistan and is the suspected mastermind of a rash of suicide bombings across Pakistan. Meanwhile, over 50 people were killed in attacks that rocked the northwestern part of the country, another pro-Taliban region and a battleground between militants and the Pakistani army.