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Blasts a conspiracy against democracy: Musharraf
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October 19, 2007 07:46 IST

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [Images] and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz have condemned the attack on the convoy of former premier Benazir Bhutto [Images] when she was returning to the port city of Karachi after eight years in self-exile.

In a statement issued by the state-run news agency, Musharraf said the attack represented 'a conspiracy against democracy.'

Musharraf and Aziz had both asked the Pakistan People's Party chief to defer her homecoming and the government had said she faced a threat from pro-Taliban militants, especially rebel leader Baitullah Mehsud.

Mehsud had said suicide bombers would be waiting to 'receive' her.

Bhutto, who held a meeting with senior PPP leaders, demanded sacking of the chief of Pakistan's Intelligence Bureau for failing to prevent the attack.

Twin explosions earlier ripped through the motorcade of the former premier, killing at least 110 people and leaving over 200 injured.

United States condemns attack:

The United States condemned the terrorist attacks in Karachi during the peaceful political rally for former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

In a statement issued in Washington, Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said: 'Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. There is no political cause that can justify the murder of innocent people.'

'Those responsible seek only to foster fear and limit freedom. We note that President Musharraf and the government of Pakistan have condemned the attack as well. The US stands with the people of Pakistan to eliminate the threat of terrorism, and to build an open, democratic, and peaceful society,' the statement said.

UN shocked:

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the terrorist attacks targeting motorcade of Bhutto.

'The Secretary-General was shocked by the blasts,' Ban's office said in a statement.

The Secretary-General strongly condemns this terrorist attack and expresses condolences to the families of the victims, it said.

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