US intelligence suggests coverup in Bhutto assassination

Suicide bomber may have been inserted to eliminate evidence

The assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on Dec. 27, 2007 has created concerns for US intelligence officials, who see US policy toward Pakistan as being held hostage by President Pervez Musharraf and factions of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Mrs. Bhutto was shot when she stood up through the sunroof of her vehicle after a campaign rally for her Pakistan Peoples Party in Rawalpindi. Immediately after the shooting, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive, killing 25 people as well as himself.

The Musharraf government’s initial reaction was to blame either al Qaeda or other terrorists closely linked to al Qaeda. However, contradictions in official statements, as well as the behavior of police – who hosed down the streets in Rawalpindi just an hour after Mrs. Bhutto was assassinated – quickly began to cast doubt on the official version of what happened, leaving serious questions surrounding Musharraf and the ISI and putting more pressure on the United States to pull back its support for Pakistani leadership.

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