Saturday, December 29, 2007

Pakistan government skips autopsy, shifts story on how Bhutto died

  • Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007
Protesters burn tires in Rawalpindi

Anjum Naveed / AP

Protesters burn tires in Rawalpindi. Benazir Bhutto's supporters rampaged through cities Friday, ransacking banks and setting train stations ablaze. | View larger image

LARKANA, Pakistan — Violence and recriminations grew Friday over the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, as Pakistan's government changed its account of how she died while her supporters charged that the government withheld personal protection she'd requested.

As deadly protests continued to rage on Pakistan's streets, the country's Interior Ministry said that Bhutto — buried Friday without an autopsy — had died after she was thrown against the lever of her car's sunroof, fracturing her skull.

Initially, the government had said that flying shrapnel killed Bhutto, 54, after a shooting and suicide bombing as she left a political rally in the city of Rawalpindi.

The new version of events fueled ever-present conspiracy theories in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation that's on the front lines of President Bush's war on terrorism and risks sliding further into political chaos.

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