Bomber who targeted Benazir stayed at facilitator`s home

A Pakistan investigation team has established that the suicide bomber who targeted Benazir Bhutto stayed in the home of another man charged with facilitating the attack.

Islamabad: A Pakistan investigation team tasked to fix criminal responsibility for former premier Benazir Bhutto`s assassination has established that the suicide bomber who targeted her stayed in the home of another man charged with facilitating the attack.

Members of the Special Investigation Group of the Federal Investigation Agency believe that the suicide bomber who blew himself up near Bhutto`s bulletproof vehicle in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007 had stayed at the home of another suspect named Hasnain Gul.

The investigators conducted DNA tests on the suicide bomber`s remains and the result matched blood samples taken from shoes found in the residence of Gul, described as a "facilitator" of the attack, the Dawn newspaper reported today.

The team conducted the DNA tests to verify the presence of the bomber at Gul`s residence in Rawalpindi. In addition to carrying out DNA tests, the investigators probed several suspects being tried for Bhutto`s murder by an anti-terror court in Rawalpindi.

They also questioned Saud Aziz, the former police chief of the garrison city, and district administration chief Irfan Elahi yesterday.

The newspaper quoted its sources as saying that the investigators have probed the suspects being tried for Bhutto`s killing to complete the chargesheet against them because they believe that any delay in prosecution will benefit the suspects.

Saud Aziz said he had ordered the hosing down of the crime scene by using his discretionary powers, denying that anybody had asked him to do so.

He said police had collected important evidence and later washed only the site that was splattered with blood. Aziz denied that any important evidence was destroyed by police.

He presented the records of suicide bombings in Lahore, Peshawar and Rawalpindi in which less evidence had been collected from the crime scene than the spot where Bhutto was assassinated.

The hosing down of the site where Bhutto was attacked has become a major controversy, with a UN panel that probed the facts and circumstances of the assassination reporting that sources had told it that Aziz cleaned the crime scene on the orders of former Military Intelligence chief Maj Gen Nadeem Ijaz Ahmad, a relative of former president Pervez Musharraf.

The UN commission`s report held Musharraf`s regime responsible for not providing adequate security to Bhutto despite reports of several threats to her life.

PTI

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