Tags: UN | bhutto | assassination | preventable

U.N. Reports Bhutto's Assassination 'Preventable'

Thursday, 15 Apr 2010 11:09 PM


Pakistan's military-led government failed to protect former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto before her 2007 assassination, and intelligence agencies hindered the subsequent investigation, a U.N. commission concluded Thursday.

The three-member investigative panel issued a scathing report Thursday afternoon, concluding that the suicide bombing that killed Bhutto "could have been prevented" and that police deliberately failed to pursue an effective investigation into the killings.

Bhutto had returned from a self-imposed, eight-year exile to run in the country's general elections two months before her assassination and had already escaped one attempt on her life. She was killed by a 15-year-old suicide bomber while campaigning in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, the seat of the country's military, in December 2007.

"No one believes that this boy acted alone," the report states. "A range of government officials failed profoundly in their efforts first to protect Ms. Bhutto, and second to investigate with vigor all those responsible for her murder, not only in the execution of the attack, but also in its conception, planning and financing."

Pakistan's government and the CIA blamed the killing on Baitullah Mehsud, a top Pakistani Taliban leader with ties to al Qaeda. Mehsud was killed last year in a suspected U.S. drone strike.

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