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Bhutto spoke to her children hours before dying

world Updated: Dec 28, 2007 13:35 IST

Hours before she was assassinated, former Pakistan Premier Benazir Bhutto spoke to her three children over phone.

Though she was busy with her election campaign in Punjab province throughout yesterday morning, she took out time to speak to her children Bakhtawar (19), Bilawal (17) and Asifa (14).

"There were meetings going on but she spoke to her children as she normally did whenever she was away from home," a close aide of Bhutto told The Post.

Bhutto spoke at length to her youngest daughter Asifa, the aide said.

The 54-year-old two-time Premier died after being shot by the suicide attacker, who subsequently blew himself up near the venue of her election rally in Rawalpindi.

Her husband Asif Ali Zardari and children returned to Pakistan from Dubai late on Thursday night and accompanied her body in a special military aircraft from Rawalpindi to her ancestral village in Sindh province.

Bhutto had taken a three-day break from her hectic election campaign in early December to meet her family in Dubai. Though she was to fly to Dubai on December 6, the trip was delayed by a day because of a mix-up over her passport, and that was her last meeting with her children.

Fearing there would be more attempts on her life, Zardari had then asked Bhutto not to go back to Pakistan, especially in view of the suicide attacks on her homecoming rally in Karachi on October 18 that killed nearly 140 people.

"She knew that something like this could happen and she told her husband that she is not afraid," Bhutto's aide recalled.