Home Indian Muslim Bhutto escapes bid on life; 139 killed, over 500 injured

Bhutto escapes bid on life; 139 killed, over 500 injured


Karachi : In the worst ever terror strike in Pakistan, at least 139 people were killed and over 500 others injured when a suicide bomber targeting former Prime Minister Benzair Bhutto blew himself up during her homecoming procession here late Thursday night but she escaped unhurt.

The bomber struck just 10 to 15 ft away from the especially refurbished armoured truck in which 54-year-old Bhutto was travelling along with close aides as the procession which was moving towards the tomb of Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah reached the Karsaz area of this port city at about midnight.

A grenade exploded seconds before the suicide bomber struck ripping through a police van in front of Bhutto’s truck, which was also damaged, killing mostly supporters of Pakistan People’s Party leader who had thronged the streets in hundreds and thousands to greet her.

Bhutto, who was on her way to Jinnah mausoleum after arriving in Pakistan following eight years in self-exile, had climbed down into the truck after waving to the crowds when the attack took place. She was immediately rescued and whisked away to her residence, Bilawal House, by security personnel and PPP workers, as people ran helter-skelter fearing for their lives.

“Bhutto is safe and was taken to her home here,” PPP spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

Sindh Governor Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan said Bhutto was the “prime target” but she was safe because of the security.