Bhutto murder prosecutor shot dead

BY: Isaac Yeboah

The BBC's Mike Wooldridge in Islamabad says the attack took place "in broad daylight"Gunmen have shot dead the prosecutor investigating the murder of Pakistan's ex-leader Benazir Bhutto, police say.

Attackers shot Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali as he was being driven to a court hearing in the case. His driver lost control of the car, killing a pedestrian.

Police have not speculated on a reason for the shooting, in Islamabad.

Ms Bhutto died in a gun and bomb attack in 2007. Chaudhry Zulfiqar was also the top prosecutor in a case related to the attacks in Mumbai, India, in 2008.

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has been accused of failing to provide adequate security for Ms Bhutto at the time of her death.

Mr Musharraf, who recently returned to Pakistan after living abroad, is being held under house arrest while the claims against him are investigated. He denies the allegations.

Nobody has ever been convicted over the murder of Ms Bhutto.

Sprayed with bullets

Police say Chaudhry Zulfiqar was driving to the anti-terrorism court for a hearing on Friday morning when his car was ambushed.

The attackers sprayed the car with bullets, badly injuring the prosecutor. He later died in hospital.

A woman pedestrian was also killed and Chaudhry Zulfiqar's bodyguard was injured.

Earlier reports suggested two other people had died.

The shooting happened in the G-9 sector of Islamabad, where the prosecutors lived. The attackers fled the scene.

Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reports that lawyers in Islamabad and Rawalpindi have announced a strike over the killing.

The claims against Mr Musharraf date back several years.

A UN inquiry in 2010 found that Ms Bhutto's murder could have been prevented, and that Mr Musharraf's government did not provide her with proper security.

Prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for him in February 2011.

He had been in self-imposed exile for several years, but returned to Pakistan in March to try to stand in the forthcoming election.

When the authorities arrested Mr Musharraf last week, Chaudhry Zulfiqar described the accusations as aiding and abetting Ms Bhutto's killing.

Mr Musharraf had blamed Ms Bhutto's killing on Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who denied any involvement.

Chaudhry Zulfiqar was also prosecuting seven suspected militants over the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba was blamed for the attacks, in which 166 people were killed.

Source: BBC