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Central & South Asia
Arrests ordered over Bhutto murder
Anti-terrorism court orders arrest of two senior police officers for failing to provide security to former PM.
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2010 11:00 GMT
Benazir Bhutto was killed moments after she had addressed a party rally [GALLO/GETTY]

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has ordered that two senior police officers tasked with protecting Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's assasinated former prime minister, should be arrested for failing to provide adequate security to her in the run-up to her death.  

Bhutto's death in a suicide bombing and gun attack in 2007 rocked Pakistan, but the circumstances surrounding the incident remain shrouded in mystery.

Warrants for the arrests of Saud Aziz, the former police chief of Rawalpindi, where the attack took place, and Kurram Shahzad, one of his deputies, were issued on the request of Chaudhry Zulfiqar, a special prosecutor investigating Bhutto's death.

"The court has issued warrants and these are non-bailable. They can be arrested anytime," Zulfiqar said."I argued that they were responsible for Bhutto's security and they failed to make foolproof security arrangements and they ordered the crime scene to be hosed down despite resistance from other officials."

Court officials were unavailable for comment on Sunday, and neither Aziz nor Shahzad could be reached.

Investigations

An initial investigation into Bhutto's death blamed Baitullah Mehsud, a Pakistani Taliban leader and al-Qaeda ally for ordering the attack. Mehsud was killed last year in a missile attack launched by a US drone aircraft.

The UN carried out its own inquiry into Bhutto's death, the findings of which were made public in New York in April. It said that no one believed the 15-year-old suicide bomber who killed Bhutto acted alone, and that there appeared to have been a deliberate failure to investigate her death.

Aziz was named in the report, which said: "Several senior police officials who know Saud Aziz were  troubled that an officer with his many years of experience would allow a major crime scene to be washed away, thereby damaging his reputation."

Source:
Agencies
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