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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India expresses shock over Benazir's assassination

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Dec 27, IRNA
India-Foreign Minister-Benazir
Expressing shock over the brutal assassination of Pakistan former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, India Thursday described Benazir as an 'outstanding woman leader of the subcontinent'.

'I express my utter shock and horror at the assassination of Benazir Bhutto,' said External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, in the first reaction of the Indian government over her death.

'This barbarous terrorist attack on her is particularly tragic,' he added, lauding her 'contribution to democracy (and) in the improvement of India-Pakistan relations..'.

'She was an outstanding woman leader in the subcontinent,' asserted Mukherjee.

Expressing condolences to the family and people of Pakistan, he said, 'our hopes and prayers are with them'.

Later, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said that he was 'at a loss of words' for the event which had left India 'shocked and saddened'.

Pakistan's charismatic leader Benazir Bhutto was shot dead this evening when gunmen opened fire at her vehicle just before a suicide bomber blew himself up at a election rally addressed by her in Rawalpindi. At least 20 people have been killed and several others injured.

According to media reports received here said that five bullets were fired, one of which pierced her neck. The 54-year-old leader of Pakistan People's Party was rushed to Rawalpindi general hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

On October 30, about 130 people were killed in terrorist attack on her cavalcade when she returned to the country. Today's incident come less than two weeks ahead of January Parliamentary elections . Ms Bhutto has twice been the country's prime minister and was campaigning ahead of elections due in January. She is survived by her husband Asif Ali Zardari and three children.

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