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Bhutto killers to be unmasked soon: Police

world Updated: Jan 24, 2008 15:23 IST
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Pakistani police have "penetrated" the network of terrorists involved in the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto last month and will soon expose those responsible for her murder, a top police official has said.

Rawalpindi's police chief Saud Aziz said the country "will soon hear news about the uncovering of the culprits involved" in the assassination.

He told reporters on Wednesday that police had penetrated the "network of terrorists and miscreants" involved in Bhutto's assassination after an election rally in the garrison city on December 27.

Aziz's comments came shortly after an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi gave police custody of two suspects, 15-year-old Aitezaz Shah and his accomplice Sher Zaman, arrested last week in Dera Ismail Khan town of North West Frontier Province for alleged involvement in the assassination.

The court remanded the duo to police custody for 10 days after Superintendent of Police Waqar Chohan, a member of the police team investigating Bhutto's killing, gave the judge details of the probe and sought the remand of the accused for questioning.

Shah and Zaman were brought to the court in armoured vehicles and were escorted by the Elite Force of police.

Chohan told the court the investigation was still underway and the investigating agencies "would require 10 days to penetrate the network of the terrorists" involved in the assassination.

Pakistani officials are currently trying to corroborate Shah's claim that he was part of a five-member squad sent by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan commander Baitullah Mehsud to kill Bhutto. Shah has also said he was trained as a suicide bomber and had been directed to target the US consulate in Karachi after Bhutto was assassinated by another member of the squad called Bilal.

Meanwhile, Rawalpindi police chief Aziz said "many leaders" were on the hit list of militants and they are being provided "complete security and protection".

The leaders on the hit list included former premier Nawaz Sharif, PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Lt Gen (retired) Javed Ashraf Qazi and former ministers Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Ejaz-ul-Haq.