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October 23, 2007
New Threats to Bhutto's Life
Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's lawyer has confirmed that there has been another serious threat against her life while authorities revealed there were two suicide bombers at the scene of last week's attack that killed 136 people:
Sen. Farooq Naik, Bhutto's lawyer, said he had received a two-page handwritten letter in the Urdu language from an unidentified person threatening to kill the former prime minister ``by any means.'' Meanwhile, authorities denied a report that they had 3 people in custody in connection with the bombings. They also reported that they are trying to identify the two bombers by piecing together their identity cards that were nearly destroyed at the scene.
The writer claimed to be a friend of al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and extremists in Pakistan. The authenticity of the letter could not be confirmed, but Naik said the party was taking it seriously. He said he asked the chief justice of Pakistan to get the government to investigate the threat and protect her.
``We cannot take anything lightly'' after Thursday's bombing, he said. Bhutto's homecoming from an eight-year exile was shattered by the blasts that hit her caravan as she traveled through Karachi. She escaped injury, but 136 other people were killed.
The bombing has upset the Pakistani political applecart and derailed efforts to form a broad, secular coalition between Bhutto and President Musharraf. At the moment, the two sides are trading charges of complicity in the bombing with Bhutto pointing the finger at members of Musharraf's government while the majority party is hinting that Bhutto staged the bombing in order to gain sympathy.
It is expected that talks will resume this week to smooth over differences and come to an agreement that would allow Musharraf to remain president while eliminating charges of graft and corruption against Bhutto stemming from her last term as Prime Minister.