Scotland Yard: Bhutto killed by bomb, not bullet
The British investigators also said that the evidence indicates only one assailant in the fatal attack on the former Pakistani prime minister.
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The findings are certain to be met with widespread skepticism, especially from Mrs. Bhutto's supporters who blame the government for her death, in particular Mr. Musharraf and the leading politician of the party that backs him, Pervez Elahi. They also are unlikely to calm the turmoil in the country now that the 40 days of mourning has ended.
[Bhutto's widower, Asif Ali] Zardari and his party's supporters say they believe she was shot, as do people who were riding with Ms. Bhutto when she died on Dec. 27 after her vehicle came under attack as she left a political rally in Rawalpindi.
The doctors who treated Ms. Bhutto told a member of the hospital board, an eminent lawyer, Athar Minallah, that she had most likely been shot. Ms. Bhutto's brazen killing set off days of violent protests and rioting across Pakistan. To allay public anger and to lend credibility to the investigations into the assassination plot, Mr. Musharraf invited a team of Scotland Yard forensic experts to assist Pakistani investigators in early January.
The campaign ahead of the Feb. 18 polls is entering full swing, and the PPP is gearing up now that mourning period for Bhutto has ended, reports The Christian Science Monitor. The party is planning its first campaign rally Saturday.
The Times of London notes that Britain's reliance on Pakistani cooperation in antiterrorism efforts meant that Scotland Yard was compelled to respond favorably to Musharraf's request.
The request from Islamabad was not an easy one for Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, to refuse. Almost every terrorist attack or plot against Britain in the past five years has had links to Pakistan and the al-Qaeda training camps in its tribal areas. Access to Pakistan and cooperation with its police and intelligence services is essential to Scotland Yard and the relationship can be fragile.
The release of the Scotland Yard report comes just a day after Pakistani authorities announced the arrest of two men suspected to have aided the suicide bomber who killed Bhutto. Dawn newspaper of Pakistan reports that one official said the two men, whom he described as "very important terrorists," were being interrogated by the police. The men are relatives of a man and a 15-year-old arrested in late January in connection with the attack. The teenager, Aitezaz Shah, admitted to being a back-up suicide bomber for the Bhutto attack.