A Change of Guard

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Saturday 29 December 2007

Former Pakistan PM Bhutto laid to rest in family Mausoleum

By VOA News Washington

28 December 2007

Bhutto supporters surround leader's dead body in ambulance upon arrival for burial at her ancestral grave yard in Gari Khuda Bux, 28 Dec 2007.

Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis crowded an emotional funeral Friday for assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Throngs of people lined the streets as the coffin holding Ms. Bhutto's body was taken to her final resting place and lowered into a grave next to her father at the family mausoleum in southern Sindh province.
Angry Bhutto supporters continued street protests Friday - attacking police stations and government offices, and torching cars. At least 23 people have died since Ms. Bhutto was killed on Thursday.
Most of the violence was in Sindh province, Ms. Bhutto's home and political stronghold. Officials there have issued "shoot to kill" orders against violent protesters.
The 54-year-old opposition leader was assassinated Thursday in Rawalpindi as she left a political rally - part of her campaign for parliamentary elections set for January 8.
Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister, Mohammadmian Soomro, said Friday, the government has no immediate plans to postpone the vote. Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says his party the Pakistan Muslim League will boycott the elections.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf blamed terrorists for the attack against Ms. Bhutto. He declared three days of mourning and called for calm.
Ms. Bhutto was in an armored car at the moment of Thursday's attack, but was exposed, standing up in the sunroof and waving to her supporters. Police say a suicide bomber fired shots at Ms. Bhutto, then blew himself up, killing at least 20 people.
Just two months ago she narrowly escaped a double suicide bombing targeting her homecoming in Karachi hours after she returned to Pakistan, ending eight years of self-imposed exile. Around 140 people were killed and Ms. Bhutto demanded the Musharraf government beef up her security.

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