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Dec 30, 2007

Man who shot bhutto


via cernigsnewshog
By Cernig

The above amateur picture is of a man aiming a handgun towards Benazir Bhutto's vehicle. The Daily Telegraph spoke to Safdar Abbassi, her chief political adviser, who was sitting behind her.

"All of a sudden there was the sound of firing. I heard the sound of a bullet."I saw her: she looked as though she ducked in when she heard the firing. We did not realise that she had been hit by a bullet."

He had looked up to see Ms Bhutto sliding back through the aperture in the roof of the white Land Cruiser. Moments later, the car was rocked by a huge explosion.

There was no sound from the fallen leader.

...Dr Abbassi leant forward to see what was wrong. At first glance, she appeared to have escaped injury. Then he noticed the blood. It was seeping from a deep wound on the left side of her neck.

His account is confirmed by photos that have surfaced in Pakistan showing a man in dark glasses aiming a handgun and standing only few feet from Ms Bhutto, moments before she died.

Naheeb Khan, his wife, cradled the injured woman's head in her lap, reaching up for her own headscarf, pulling it from her head, pressing it into the wound, trying to stem the flow. But the wound was deep and the blood seeped out, spreading down her neck and across her blue tunic.

The official Pakistani government line is that Ms Bhutto caught her head on the sunroof's catch as she ducked inside, fracturing her skull. "Absolute facts - nothing but facts," it said of its account. But Dr Abbassi leaves little room for doubt. There was too much blood, he said, and a gaping wound in her neck. She had been shot.

..."We thought she had ducked in but she had not, she had fallen down," said Dr Abbassi. "She did not say a single word. For a few seconds we thought she was confused by the firing and that is why she was not talking. We did not realise…"

Before anyone had a chance to speak, the attacker detonated his explosives, peppering the vehicle with ball bearings.

"There was a big bang. Some of the shrapnel hit the car and then the driver sped away." In the following car, Farhad Ullah Babar, Ms Bhutto's chief spokesman, saw his leader disappear back inside her car. "There was a huge bang and everyone was running from one place to the other but the vehicle was still moving," he said. "She disappeared. So we thought, because she had gone inside, that she was safe."

But inside the car in front, realisation was dawning. "We saw the blood: the blood was everywhere, on her neck and on her clothes and we realised she was hit. She could not say anything," Dr Abbassi said, his shirt still stained with Ms Bhutto's blood.

Able to do nothing more than stanch some of the bleeding, they made for the nearest hospital. Ms Bhutto was still alive when she was carried into the intensive care unit, but her injuries were so severe that she stood no chance.

"The doctors really tried their best but it was too late," Dr Abbassi said, amid tears. "I was so optimistic: I thought nothing would happen to her. I still feel she is alive. I cannot believe she is with us no more."


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