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Famous last words: Long live Bhutto

world Updated: Dec 31, 2007 03:08 IST

AFP
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Benazir Bhutto's last words were "Long live Bhutto", the chief political adviser with the former Pakistani prime minister told the British newspaper The Sunday Telegraph.

Bhutto shouted the words from her car just before she was killed at a campaign rally in the northern city of Rawalpindi on Thursday, said Safdar Abbassi, who said he was sitting behind her in the vehicle.

"She did not say anything more," he recalled. "There was the sound of firing. I heard the sound of a bullet. I saw her: she looked as though she ducked in when she heard the firing. We did not realise that she had been hit by a bullet."

He said he looked up to see Bhutto sliding back through the sunroof, just before it was rocked by a huge explosion. Abbassi said he noticed blood seeping from a deep wound on the left side of her neck.

His wife Naheep Khan cradled Bhutto's head in her lap and pressed her own headscarf onto her wound. However, blood spread down Bhutto's neck and across her dress, Abbassi said.

"She was smiling and she was extremely happy," he said. I started chanting slogans because there were crowds all around. Bhutto lifted herself through the sunroof to wave to supporters.” Nar-e Bhutto (let's cheer for Bhutto, Abbassi shouted.

"Jeay Bhutto (long live Bhutto)," she replied, before the sound of gunfire.