Thursday, December 27, 2007

Breaking: Pakistan's Bhutto Assassinated

Welcome Lowcountry Blogosphere.Updates below!

A sad day for democracy in this troubled region. Via Yahoo/AP:

Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide bombing that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, a party aide and a military official said.

"At 6:16 p.m. she expired," said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto's party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital where she was taken after the attack...

Bhutto served twice as Pakistan's prime minister between 1988 and 1996. She had returned to Pakistan from an eight-year exile Oct. 18.

A major setback, but could this extreme reaction by her opposition be the catalyst that pushes the country toward free elections?

Update-Bill Roggio at the Weekly Standard says "The mode of attack suggests a level of training, discipline, and expertise of a military organization." But he still thinks its was the Taliban or Al Qaeda, which should have plenty of experience for such operations.

I still think this may be the straw which breaks Musharraf's back, whether he was involved or not.

This just in-Roggio reports Al Qaeda is taking credit, and they may have had assistance from the Pakistani military:

Al Qaeda's central command is taking credit for today's successful assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. A senior al Qaeda military leader in Afghanistan has contacted Syed Saleem Shahzad, a Pakistani journalist for the Asia Times and Adnkronos International with close connections to the Taliban and al Qaeda, and bragged about killing Bhutto.

"We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahadeen," Mustafa Abu al Yazid, al Qaeda's commander in Afghanistan, told Mr. Shazad.

More-Heather at Lowcountry Blogs is tracking local reaction.

Bush Responds: