Lanka vehemently condemns Benazir's assassination

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Colombo, Dec 27 (UNI) The Sri Lankan government today joined the world to vehemently condemn the killing of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto at an election rally in Rawalpindi this evening.

''The government of Sri Lanka condemns in the strongest terms the brutal attack this evening on the life of Benazir Bhutto, a South Asian leader who successfully stood up for democracy,'' the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that the ugly head of terrorism has raised itself once again in claiming the life of Ms Bhutto.

''This brutal assassination underlines the need for the absolute commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,'' the Foreign Ministry said while expressing its condolences to the family of Ms Bhutto, the government of Pakistan and its people.

Ms Bhutto had just addressed an election rally in Rawalpindi when she was shot at by an unknown gunman who then set off a bomb, killing at least 16 others and wounding several more.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack.

Ms Bhutto, leader of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), had twice been the country's prime minister and had been campaigning ahead of elections due in January.

It was the second suicide attack against her after her return to Pakistan and the attack had come amid a wave of bombings targeting security and government officials ahead of the January polls.


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