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Bhutto's murder - judicial remand for 5

Five men arrested on suspicion of involvement in Benazir Bhutto's assassination have been remanded to the four-day judicial custody by an anti-terrorism court.

world Updated: Mar 06, 2008 18:05 IST

Five men arrested on suspicion of involvement in former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto's assassination were remanded to the four-day judicial custody by an anti-terrorism court on Thursday.

Aitzaz Shah, Sher Zaman, Abdul Rashid, Hasnain Gul and Rafaqat who were arrested in North West Frontier Province and Rawalpindi were produced in the court in Rawalpindi near Islamabad amidst tight security. They were sent to the Adiala Jail on judicial remand by the court.

Fifteen-year-old Shah, who was arrested along with Zaman in the northwestern town of Dera Ismail Khan, has claimed he was next in line to target Bhutto, who was assassinated by a suicide bomber identified as Bilal after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi on December 27.

Gul and his cousin Rafaqat had allegedly provided weapons and explosives to Bilal and his accomplice Ikramullah, who is absconding. The five men have also been suspected of having links with other suicide attacks and bombings. The anti-terrorism court set March 10 as the next date for the hearing of the case against the five men.

Police last week formally charged Pakistani Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud, who is based in the Waziristan tribal area bordering Afghanistan, with masterminding Bhutto's assassination. Mehsud's spokesman has denied he was involved in the attack.