Police confirm two suicide bombers involved in attacks Female suicide bombers threaten Benazir
BB seeks CJP's help to expedite investigation, ensure security
Agencies | October 24, 2007
KARACHI: Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto has received a threat that she would be targeted by female suicide bombers, one of her close aides said on Tuesday.
Senator Farooq Naik, Ms Bhutto's lawyer, said he had received a two-page handwritten letter in the Urdu language from an unidentified person threatening to kill Ms Bhutto "by any means". The writer claimed to be a friend of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and extremists in Pakistan.
The authenticity of the letter could not be confirmed, but Sen Naik said the party was taking it seriously. He said he asked the chief justice of Pakistan to get the government to investigate the threat and protect her.
"We cannot take anything lightly" after Thursday's bombing, he said.
The threat, in a letter sent to the Supreme Court, warned she could be killed "anywhere we get the opportunity" and was signed by a "friend of al Qaeda," said Sen Naik.
Also on Tuesday, Provincial Home Minister Wasim Akhtar said that police were examining footage from the blasts, although four of six close circuit cameras from the site had been damaged. No arrests have been made, he said.
Police have also taken statements from most of the 400 people injured in the blasts, an officer said on condition of anonymity.
Police meanwhile confirmed that two suicide bombers were involved in the attacks.
Police last week found the head of one of the suspected bombers and released a sketch offering a five-million rupee (84,000 dollars) reward for information leading to his identification.
Another badly damaged head was found later at the scene, the face of which is being reconstructed with the help of forensic experts, a police official said.
"We are baffled as to how the second bomber survived after the first bomber exploded because evidence from the scene suggests they both were on the left hand side of the road and in close proximity to each other," an officer said.
"We still have no evidence from the scene of the crime that could lead to the identity of the bombers," the officer added.
Sindh Governor Ishrat Ebad said people in custody in connection with seven previous suicide attacks in Karachi were being questioned in prisons in the city and elsewhere in Pakistan in the hope they could provide clues into the bombing.
Police had initially said only one suicide bomber participated, but Ebad said "it was more than likely" there were two, after pieces of a second severed head were found at a hospital and at the site of the attack.
The governor said the state agency that oversaw national identity cards was helping in identifying the bombers -- one of whose pictures has been made public.
Ebad said that although no arrests had been made, there was progress in the investigation. He rebutted earlier reports that three men had been detained in connection with a vehicle used by an attacker.
Ms Bhutto's spokeswoman reiterated a call for the chief investigator to be replaced. She has already called for Pakistan to seek expert help from the US and Britain.
"Benazir Bhutto is not satisfied with the investigation, comments made by some elements of the government blaming (the Pakistan Peoples Party) are increasing her concerns," said spokeswoman Sherry Rahman.
Ms Bhutto also thinks ruling party chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and a head of a spy agency -- both close associates of President Musharraf -- could be behind the attack. She has given no evidence in public to back up her claim.