Benazir Bhutto assassination: ‘Most wanted’ in murder resurfaces

Ikramullah appearing in a Pakistan Taliban video Image caption Ikramullah is assumed to had been a again-up suicide bomber, must the primary have failed

A militant alleged to have been part of the cell phone that murdered former Pakistani PM Benazir Bhutto has gave the impression in a Taliban video denying his involvement.

Ikramullah is assumed to have been a again-up suicide bomber, who was supposed to detonate his explosive vest if the first attacker didn’t succeed.

But officers say he walked away after the opposite bomber blew himself up, killing Ms Bhutto and a minimum of 20 others at rally in Rawalpindi in 2007.

A senior Bhutto aide stated he was once lying.

In his first public commentary on the case, Ikramullah seems in a video produced by way of a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban which used to be acquired by means of the BBC. It is assumed to have been filmed in jap Afghanistan, where the militants are based.

Symbol copyright John Moore Image caption Ms Bhutto at the Rawalpindi rally, mins ahead of she was once assassinated

The chief of the Pakistani Taliban at the time, Baitullah Mehsud – who died in US strike in 2009 – denied that the group was once accountable. Alternatively, many have speculated that this used to be brought about by the public backlash the attack received.

Pakistani intelligence officials mentioned they’d intercepted a telephone conversation in which Baitullah Mehsud was informed through an unnamed cleric that the attackers had been “our males” and incorporated Ikramullah, who was once then about SIXTEEN years antique.

Earlier this yr, a e book printed by the Pakistani Taliban’s primary faction on the historical past of the gang said that in spite of earlier denials they’d certainly carried out the attack, and once more named Ikramullah because the second suicide bomber.

Symbol copyright BBBC Symbol caption the new head of the Pakistan Taliban, Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, wrote the guide

The e-book, From British Raj to American Imperialism, was written through Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, who used to be named over the weekend because the new head of the main Pakistani Taliban. The group’s earlier chief used to be killed in advance this month in a drone strike.

According to the e book, Bhutto was once centered via the militants because she used to be making plans “to target the mujahideen” and create a government sympathetic to “American interests.”

who’re the Taliban?

The video through which Ikramullah features is produced by means of a splinter faction of the Pakistani Taliban in place of the primary team. No point out of the book is made within the video. On The Other Hand, the commander of the splinter staff, Shehryar, says attempts “to hyperlink Ikramullah to the killing of Benazir is the paintings of the infidel media and apostates”.

Former Inside Minister Rehman Malik instructed the BBC that Ikramullah was once “the only dwelling individual” with inside data on the Bhutto case, as the majority of different militants linked to it have because been killed. Mr Malik brought that Ikramullah’s denial could be prompted by worry that he would possibly eventually be detained in Afghanistan and passed over to Pakistan.

Symbol copyright AFP/Getty Symbol caption Supporters carried Ms Bhutto’s coffin after her body was released from clinic following her assassination

On The Other Hand, he recommended, the denial may well be some way to problem the authority of the brand new leader of the primary Pakistani Taliban staff. Mr Malik is calling for Ikramullah to be captured and put on trial.

Shehryar also claims within the video that the Pakistani Taliban weren’t concerned in the assault, and blames it at the country’s then-ruler Pervez Musharraf and the intelligence services.

Mr Musharraf has been declared a “proclaimed culprit” after being charged with “abetment and conspiracy to homicide” in relation to Bhutto’s demise, however now not appearing in court.

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Media captionThe BBC’s Charles Haviland in Islamabad says the previous chief is dealing with an ”unprecedented situation”

he’s these days in self-imposed exile in Dubai. He has all the time denied any involvement in Bhutto’s loss of life or having intentionally no longer provided her with ok security.

Many commentators imagine the Pakistani Taliban were concerned but in addition that the full details surrounding the attack were “lined up.”

A 2010 document via the United Nations describes the initial police investigation as a “whitewash”.

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