Head of suspected Pakistani suicide bomber found

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Karachi, Oct 19: Pakistani police have found the head of a suspected bomber in a suicide attack that killed at least 133 people as former prime minister Benazir Bhutto passed through masses of supporters in Karachi.

''We have found the severed head of the suspected bomber and his DNA tests are being carried out,'' Manzoor Mughal, a senior police official involved in the investigation, told to the sources.

Typically, a bomber's head is blown off by the upward force of the explosives strapped to his body.

Hundreds of thousands of people had turned out to greet Bhutto, who had arrived back from eight years of self-imposed exile yesterday to lead her country into national elections due in January.

Two blasts in quick succession rocked her motorcade as it edged through the crowd. Bhutto, travelling in a truck reinforced to withstand bomb attacks, was unhurt.

''The first blast was caused by a hand grenade. The second was the suicide attack,'' Mughal said.

''The attacker ran into the crowd and blew himself up.'' Most of the casualties were supporters, and police in her security detail. A television cameraman was killed and several journalists were among the 256 wounded.

Mughal said 15 to 20 kg of explosives were used in the attack.

Police announced a five million rupees reward (82,000 dollars) for information.

Al Qaeda-linked militants had threatened to assassinate opposition leader Bhutto because of her support for President Pervez Musharraf's alliance with the United States in a global war on terrorism.

But her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, accused Pakistani intelligence agencies of involvement, and there are many Pakistanis who share his suspicions.

While army chief Musharraf had given some level of support to Bhutto's return and the two might end up sharing power after the elections in January, the two-time prime minister has a surfeit of enemies in Pakistan.


REUTERS
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