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Suspect arrested over attempted killing of Bhutto

Suspect arrested over attempted killing of Bhutto

Pakistan has arrested a suspected al-Qaida militant who slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto named before her death as one of those involved in an attempt on her life in October, a senior government official said.
Qari Saifullah Akhtar, who has been in Pakistani custody before, was arrested Monday in the eastern city of Lahore for alleged involvement in the October suicide bombing in Karachi that hit Bhutto's homecoming parade when she returned from exile, Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz said Tuesday.
The bombing narrowly missed Bhutto but killed about 150 others. Bhutto was killed in a subsequent suicide attack on December 27 in Rawalpindi near the capital Islamabad.
"He is involved in the blasts in Karsaz. Therefore he has been arrested," Nawaz told The Associated Press, referring to the Karachi neighborhood where the October bombing happened.
Akhtar's lawyer denied that he was involved.
Nawaz said authorities also arrested three other men, identified by Akhtar as his sons.
The minister did not provide details on the nature of Akhtar's involvement in the October bombing, the deadliest suicide attack in Pakistan's history.
The government has blamed both the Karachi bombing and Bhutto's assassination on Baitullah Mehsud, the top Taliban commander in Pakistan.
Bhutto had disputed that Mehsud was behind the Karachi attack. In a book she wrote, she claimed that Akhtar was involved in the bombing.


Updated : 2021-06-15 11:10 GMT+08:00