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Home > News > PTI

Bhutto's killing: Cops grill teenager

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad | January 23, 2008 15:00 IST

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Police in the garrison city of Rawalpindi questioned a teenaged boy, arrested for his alleged involvement in former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto's [Images] assassination, and his accomplice on Wednesday.

Aitezaz Shah, a 15-year-old suicide bomber arrested last week along with one Sher Zaman in Dera Ismail Khan town of North West Frontier Province, was handed over to Punjab Police on Tuesday and brought to Rawalpindi.

The police team, formed to probe Bhutto's assassination in Rawalpindi on December 27, will also question the duo.

Security officials had on Tuesday night raided a madrassa in Karachi where Shah had studied before going to South Waziristan and Afghanistan for training in terrorist camps. During the raid on Zaman's house in Dera Ismail Khan, police seized explosives and other materials used in making suicide vests.

Officials connected with the probe say that Shah was likely to be questioned by the Scotland Yard team that is helping Pakistani investigators.

Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema told media persons at a weekly briefing on Tuesday that the British team 'will be at liberty to interrogate the two suspects arrested from Dera Ismail Khan as they are assisting us in the case.'

"We will have no objection if the Scotland Yard team wishes to interrogate Aitezaz Shah and Sher Zaman," Cheema said, adding, "If they (Scotland Yard team) require, the government would facilitate them to quiz the duo."

The Scotland Yard sleuths have gone back to Britain to analyse the evidence they had gathered but the British High Commission has said they could return to Pakistan if necessary.

Pakistani officials are currently trying to corroborate Shah's claim that he was part of a five-member squad sent by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan commander Baitullah Mehsud to kill Bhutto.

Referring to the questioning of Shah and Zaman, Cheema said: "They have given a statement with regard to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. But we cannot say anything about them until and unless there is corroborating evidence to suggest that whatever they say is correct."

Officials said police had arrested Shah's father from Karachi and his uncle Shabbir Hussain Shah at Battal town in Mansehra. Police in Karachi have also arrested a relative of Baitullah Mehsud.

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