Bhutto buried as Pakistan unrest spreads
( AP ) - Hundreds of thousands of mourners thronged the mausoleum of Pakistan's most famous political dynasty in an outpouring of emotion for Benazir Bhutto. The government said al-Qaida and the Taliban were responsible for her death, claiming it intercepted an al-Qaida leader's message of congratulation for the assassination.
But many of Bhutto's furious supporters blamed President Pervez Musharraf's government for the shooting and bombing attack on the former prime minister, Musharraf's most powerful opponent. They rampaged through several cities in violence that left at least 23 dead less than two weeks before crucial elections.
"We have the evidence that al-Qaida and Taliban were behind the suicide attack on Benazir Bhutto," Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz said.
Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said that on Friday, the government recorded an "intelligence intercept" in which militant leader Baitullah Mehsud "congratulated his people for carrying out this cowardly act."
Opposition politician and former cricket star Imran Khan blamed Musharraf for Bhutto's death, saying he did not give her proper security. Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, India, where he was on a private visit, he called on the president to resign and for an independent judicial probe into her death.
Bhutto, whose party has long been popular among Pakistan's legions of poor, served two terms as prime minister between 1988 and 1996. Both elected governments were toppled amid accusations of corruption and mismanagement, but she was respected in the West for her liberal outlook and determination to combat Islamic extremism.
She had been vying for a third term if her party fared well in the Jan. 8 parliamentary elections.