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Was Musharraf involved? Is the Pope Catholic?

UPDATE: Riots breaking out in Pakistani cities. I’ve noticed that CNN is using their international feed nonstop, while the local NPR station has simply switched to a BBC feed. US media is obviously not up to the task of covering this at all.

Earlier Thursday, at a different pre-election rally in this garrison city south of Islamabad, a rooftop sniper opened fire on supporters of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif leaving four dead and at least five injured.

The violence comes 12 days before Pakistanis are set to vote in national parliamentary elections, which have already been marked by enormous political turmoil. President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in November — a move that he said was to combat terrorism but was widely perceived as an effort to stave off legal challenges to his authority.

Bhutto was rushed from the public park where the rally took place to Rawalpindi General Hospital, where a surgeon worked in vain to save her.

Her SUV was so badly damaged by the bomb that it could not make the drive; she was transferred en route to another private vehicle.

Thousands had gathered at the hospital by the time an official emerged from the hospital to say Bhutto was dead; the announcement triggered a roar of rage and grief.

Devastated supporters smashed the glass doors of the hospital and stormed the building to try and view her lifeless body. Even as ambulances continued to arrive bearing dead and wounded from the bombing, the crowd outside the hospital tore down and burned campaign posters showing candidates from Musharraf’s party. Yelling “Musharraf is a dog,” they blamed him for Bhutto’s death.

“Today there is no more Pakistan. The woman who has defended us has died,” said Sher Zaman as he beat his chest in mourning. “I’m 70 years old, but today I feel like an orphan.”

Elsewhere in Pakistan, crowds were taking to the streets to demonstrate and riot in protest of the assassination, setting fires and pelting cars with stones, news services reported.


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