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Bhutto murder suspect remanded to custody

A teenaged boy suspected to be a member of a suicide squad sent to kill the former Pak premier was on Saturday remanded to police custody till Feb 12.

world Updated: Feb 02, 2008 17:14 IST
Rezaul H Laskar
Rezaul H Laskar

A teenaged boy suspected to be a member of a suicide squad sent to kill former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto was on Saturday remanded to police custody till February 12 by an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi.

Aitzaz Shah, 15, was arrested along with his accomplice Sher Zaman in the northwestern city of Dera Ismail Khan last month. He had told interrogators that he was part of a five-member suicide squad sent by Pakistani Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud to kill Bhutto.

Both the accused, whose faces were covered by police, were brought to the court in an armoured vehicle amid tight security.

Shah had also told investigators that he was next in line to target Bhutto, who was assassinated in a suicide attack in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on December 27.

Shah was recently brought to Rawalpindi for questioning and an anti-terrorism court had remanded him to police custody for 10 days.

Following the end of the remand period, Shah was produced in the anti-terrorism court of Judge Chaudhry Habibullah, who accepted the police's request for further remand.

A large number of policemen were deployed while press photographers and TV cameramen were not allowed to go inside the court room. Zaman was also produced in the same court.

Judge Habibullah ordered police to produce Shah again on February 12 at the end of his remand.

Local TV channels had reported last week that Shah has identified the man who carried out the suicide attack on Bhutto as Bilal, a resident of the South Waziristan tribal region. Caretaker Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz Khan has said that investigators are trying to corroborate Shah's revelations.