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Scotland Yard team at Bhutto murder site

Scotland Yard has started the probe into Bhutto's assassination by visiting the site of her assassination.

world Updated: Jan 05, 2008 13:46 IST

Investigators from Britain's Scotland Yard on Saturday started probe into the Dec 27 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto by visiting Liaqat Bagh in Rawalpindi where she addressed her last rally minutes before her death.

"The five member team visited the rally venue and the crime scene where Ms Bhutto was killed," an official of the interior ministry said. He said that the team would be inspecting the vehicle that Bhutto was riding and will also interview some of the injured who are still in hospital.

Bhutto was killed on Dec 27 in gun and bomb attack when she was returning from Liaqat Bagh after addressing an election rally, almost two months after coming home from eight years exile in Dubai and London.

On Friday, the British investigators comprising forensic and technical experts met a team of local detectives of police and the Special Investigation Group of Federal Investigation Agency who had already started the probe.

"We do not know how long the Scotland Yard team will stay here because there is no timeframe for them to complete the task," the interior ministry official said.

The foreign experts were briefed on the evidences available with the Pakistani police and the investigation carried out so far, a security source said.

Analysts in Islamabad said that the Scotland Yard team would face difficulty because of lack of evidence. They said police had not cordoned off the assassination site and had washed it immediately after the incident.

The team would also face difficulties because no post-mortem of Bhutto had been conducted. The government has offered to exhume the body, but her family seems to be reluctant.

It is feared that due to lack of solid evidences the British team may not come up with any definitive conclusion and it will have to rely on the information provided by the local investigators.

Bhutto had said two months before her assassination that her enemies in the government and intelligence agencies were planning to kill her and had demanded adequate security.

Her Pakistan Peoples Party has already rejected the government decision to get the investigation conducted by the British police.

"We will accept investigation of the tragic incident by international experts only if it is conducted under the auspices of the United Nations," PPP co-chairman and Bhutto's husband Asif Ali Zardari has said.