Taliban responsible for Benazir’s killing, says probe (Lead)

October 26th, 2010 - 5:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, Oct 26 (IANS) Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was responsible for the murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, says a probe carried out by the Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency.

The agency is likely to submit its report before an anti-terrorism court Oct 30, Dawn reported Tuesday.

The investigation report says that slain TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud was the mastermind behind Bhutto’s killing.

Bhutto was assassinated Dec 27, 2007, after addressing an election rally in the northern Pakistani city of Rawalpindi. A teenaged shooter was seen aiming for her head in the CCTV footage before a powerful suicide blast killed at least 24 people participating in the rally.

The interior ministry at that time had accused Taliban of plotting to kill Bhutto while the doctors had said that “her head banged against the lever of the sunroof which caused her death”.

Sources said that the agency had not been able complete its investigation earlier due to three absconders - Abdur Rehman, Saddam and Faiz Mohammad.

The report now says that the three absconders were killed in a military operation in tribal areas.

Five TTP members, who have been arrested, are Rafaqat, Hussain, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah and Abdul Rashid.

Khalid Mehmood who led the team that probed the case told the daily that its report will be presented before the court Oct 30.

The probe team had earlier decided to send a questionnaire to the interior minister since he could not be summoned or interrogated as he is a minister. However, no questionnaire was eventually sent to him.

Ashfaq Anwar, who was head of Rawalpindi’s Elite Force at the time of the killing and was responsible for Bhutto’s security, has gone to Britain on a scholarship, the media report said.

–Indo-Asian News service
rd/vt

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