Bhutto Fears New Assassination Attempt

Other News Materials 23 October 2007 00:37

(SKY NEWS) - Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto has told Sky News she is certain another attempt will be made on her life - and she fears assassins will infiltrate the guards who are assigned to protect her.

Benazir BhuttoSpeaking inside her heavily-guarded house in Karachi, Mrs Bhutto called for Thursday's attack on her homecoming parade to be investigated by the international community.

At least 136 people were killed and hundreds more wounded when a suicide bomber detonated a shrapnel-filled explosive.

It went off close to the vehicle which was carrying her through the ecstatic crowds that were lining the streets to welcome her back after eight years in self-imposed exile.

Mrs Bhutto told Sky News she was suspicious of the way the street lights nearby went out immediately before the bomb blast.

She believes her residencies in both Karachi and Islamabad will be attacked, and her officials have demanded more government security.

They say they have only been offered three police vehicles to cover her when she moves by car - which means one side will be left unguarded.

Anger at bombing in KarachiHer officials want members of her Pakistan People's Party (PPP) guards to be allowed to carry guns and to vet the official guards.

Police have arrested three people they believe are linked to a vehicle used in the attack, which also saw a hand grenade thrown at her truck shortly before the bomb went off.

The three men were detained in southern Punjab Province - an area known for Islamist militancy - before being taken to Karachi for questioning.

Suicide attack killed indiscriminatelyA senior investigator said officers believed the trio, who have yet to be charged, held crucial clues to the bombing.

Sporadic violence has flared in Karachi since the attack, with angry PPP supporters throwing stones and burning tyres in parts of the city.

Fourteen people were shot in an area that is one of her strongholds after outsiders mixed with her supporters.

Authorities say the bombing bore the hallmarks of a warlord and the Al Qaeda terror network.

But Mrs Bhutto, who is pro-West, has also suggested remnants of the regime of former military leader General Zia ul Haq could have been involved.

Gen Zia is said to have been complicit in her father's execution.