'Scotland Yard free to probe murder suspect'

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Islamabad, Jan 23: The Scotland Yard team probing into the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto would be free to interrogate Aitezaz Shah, the 15-year-old arrested in connection with the case, said Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema.

The British team is expected to come back to Pakistan in a couple of days with a final report on the case, Cheema said, adding that the report would be presented to the local investigating team and is likely to be shared with the media, the Daily Times reported. Shah and Sher Zaman, another suspect arrested on the information provided by the former, were handed over to Punjab Police on Tuesday, said Cheema.

He said Shah has told interrogators that he was next in line to kill Benazir had the other assassins failed in their attempt. Shah was sent from Karachi to South Waziristan, where militants loyal to Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud trained him as a suicide bomber.

The teenaged suspect also repeated the names of the men mentioned in a telephone conversation between Mehsud and an accomplice. The authorities had made public this fact to support suspicions that Mehsud had ordered Benazir's assassination.

Cheema said law-enforcement agencies were directed not to lower their guards and maintain a high level of vigilance. He said police and other security forces would remain deployed in different parts of the country before and after the general elections.

ANI

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