'Musharraf warned me,' says Bhutto

Updated on Oct 22, 2007 01:54 PM IST

Benazir Bhutto says that the Pak president had warned her that four suicide squads had been sent to kill her.

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PTI | By, Islamabad

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who survived an assassination attempt last week, has said that President Pervez Musharraf had warned her before her return to Pakistan from exile last week that four suicide squads had been sent to kill her.

Since the suicide attack on her convoy on Friday that killed nearly 140 people and injured hundreds more, Bhutto has said that three senior officials and elements linked to late military dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq were behind attempts to assassinate her.

Asked if she had been worried about the threat from a suicide bomber while her motorcade was making its way through the streets of Karachi following her homecoming on Thursday, Bhutto said on "Today" show of NBC TV: "That's right. I had been cautioned.

"General Musharraf had asked me to delay my return to Pakistan, and he had very kindly shared with me information that he had received about four possible suicide squads being sent to kill me."

Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had both asked Bhutto to defer her return to Pakistan after eight years in self-exile but she had rejected this suggestion.

Bhutto referred to the three officials in a formal complaint filed with police in Karachi yesterday but did not identify them.

The leading newspaper The News quoted sources to identify them as Sindh Chief Minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, who is also the cousin of president of ruling PML (Q)Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, and Intelligence Bureau chief Brig (retired) Ejaz Shah.

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