Cry the beloved country Benazir assassinated
Former prime minister and chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a gun and suicide attack minutes after she addressed a huge election rally here on Thursday.
Shots were fired at her before a suicide bomber blew himself up near her bullet-proof jeep as it pulled out of the Liaquat Bagh gate. Bullets pierced her neck and damaged her trachea, which proved fatal.
The attacker blew himself up as guards attempted to overpower him. More than 28 people were killed and some 100 injured, including Benazir’s political secretary Naheed Khan and Sherry Rehman in the attack.
Benazir Bhutto was rushed to the nearby Rawalpindi General Hospital (RGH) where she passed away during surgery. Professor Dr Musaddaq conducted the resuscitation but she could not survive due to loss of blood and lack of oxygen to the vital organs.
Hundreds of PPP workers and leaders reached the hospital and waited anxiously as doctors made an unsuccessful attempt to save Benazir’s life. All of them burst into tears and began wailing when doctors pronounced Benazir dead. The number of PPP workers swelled as the news of Benazir’s death spread like a jungle fire.
PPP activists and supporters throughout the country went on rampage to express indignation over Benazir’s tragic death. They burnt tyres, blocked roads and damaged buildings and vehicles. The tragedy shocked all and sundry in Pakistan and left every one speechless.
Benazir Bhutto had returned to Pakistan on October 18 this year, ending nearly eight years in exile, to lead her PPP into the January 8 parliamentary elections. Two suicide bombers struck her homecoming rally, killing 150 people. She was aware of the dangers to her life but said this would not deter her from bringing democracy to Pakistan.
“An invader suddenly came in front of her Land Cruiser and started firing at her,” a guard of Benazir Bhutto said, adding that she quickly sat down but a bullet pierced into her neck and damaged her trachea.
A surgeon at the hospital, who was one of the doctors who carried out surgery, told ‘The News’ that Benazir sustained two bullet injuries — one in her neck and the other in the skull. He said, “Tempiral bone and skull bone were fractured”.
The surgeon claimed that Benazir’s brain death had occurred on the spot. However, the doctors tried their best to save her life but failed. The security agencies have found the head of the suicide bomber lying about 90 feet away from the scene. “The face, partly disfigured, can be reshaped by surgery”, the sources said.
The blast was so severe that it was heard several kilometres away from the scene. Three vehicles of Benazir’s motorcade were damaged and windowpanes of dozens of adjacent buildings were broken and tens of cars were damaged.
Body parts of the suicide bomber spread out around the area of about 100 yards from the scene of explosion, while parts of bodies and flesh were scattered at the site of the blast.
Police high-ups and experts of investigation and intelligence agencies including special investigation group (SIG) of the FIA reached the scene soon after the blast and collected evidence from the site.
The sources told The News that civil armed forces have been summoned in aid of the law-enforcement agencies to maintain law and order, adding the security around sensitive installations and government personalities has been beefed up.
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