Saturday, January 19, 2008

Teenager Arrested in Pakistan for Part in Murder of Bhutto

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan - A teenager who said he was part of a team of assassins sent to kill former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was arrested near the Afghan border, Pakistani officials said Saturday.

The teen also confessed to taking part in a plot to attack Shiites during Ashoura, even as police in Pakistan's far south said they had foiled suicide attacks planned for the Shiite Muslim festival.

In Karachi, police chief Azhar Farouqi said officers detained five men who were in the possession of explosives, detonators and a small quantity of cyanide intended for attacks on this week's Ashoura processions.

"With these arrests we have foiled major attacks," Farouqi said.

The intelligence official said the 15-year-old told investigators that the five-person squad was dispatched to Rawalpindi, where Bhutto was killed, by Baitullah Mehsud, a militant leader with strong ties to al-Qaida and an alliance with the Taliban in nearby Afghanistan, on Afghanistan's northwest border.

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