Benazir Bhutto photographed on way to the Rawalpindi rally where she was assassinated
Pakistan People's Party chief Benazir Bhutto was shot and killed by a sniper in Rawalpindi on Thursday. Two of her close associates were critically injured in a blast that occurred at the same time.
She had a narrow escape eight weeks ago in a similar attack at Karachi when she returned to Pakistan after several years in exile.
Benazir Bhutto is believed to have been the US administration's choice for prime ministership. Apparently Parves Musharraf was ready to instal her in office. Her nomination papers for the elections were accepted while those of her chief rival, Pakistan Musl;im League chief Nawaz Sherif were rejected.
Both Bhutto and Sherif have served previously as Prime Minister. Sherif was inclined to keep out of the elections called by Musharraf but decided to contest as Bhutto was not ready to join the boycott.
Benazir Bhutto's elimination puts in jeoprady the electoral process which was supposed to pave the way for return of democracy.
See also IANS report: Benazir's day began in triumph, ended in assassination