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More suspects in Bhutto's assassination arrested

world Updated: Jan 27, 2008 01:19 IST

Pakistani authorities have arrested more suspects in connection with the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on a tip from a detained suspect, a senior official said on Saturday.

A 15-year-old boy Aitzaz Shah was arrested from the northwestern city of Dera Islamil Khan earlier this week, who had reportedly told the investigators that he was part of a back-up group who attacked Bhutto.

Caretaker Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz said that on the indication of Shah, authorities had taken into custody more suspects allegedly involved in the Dec 27 assassination. However, he did not disclose more details.

Nawaz said the Scotland Yard team investigated the assassination quickly and had got certain clues. He said some members of the team would return to Pakistan within the next few days.

The government had changed the strategy to quell militancy, Nawaz said. "Militants targeting the security forces will be crushed."

He also voiced the concern that the lives of prominent politicians were in danger. He said, "but we are taking tangible steps for their security."

Nawaz said that the operation in the tribal region of Darra Adamkhel would continue till the militancy was wiped out from the area.

He said the general elections would be held as scheduled despite unsatisfactory law and order situation in the country. He said that elections would also be held in Swat valley, tribal regions and other disturbed areas.

Bhutto was killed in firing and suicide bombing attacks in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Dec 27 after addressing an election rally.