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Musharraf Will Open Probe into Bhutto's Death

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has called on Britain's Scotland Yard to aid an investigation into the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

The former prime minister was killed Dec. 27 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, after a political rally for support of her Pakistan Peoples Party.

Musharraf's request on Wednesday defers to demands by opposition officials calling for an international investigation into the circumstances of Bhutto's killing in a suicide attack.


The request is also viewed as a tacit admission of a credibility problem.

Bhutto supporters suspect some in Musharraf's camp played a role in her death. He has denied the charge and hopes the assistance of Scotland Yard removes such doubt about his administration's involvement.

"We decided to request a team from Scotland Yard to come," Musharraf said in a nationally televised address. He said he sent the request to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who "accepted the request."

Musharraf also called for "reconciliation and not for confrontation" in the wake of violence that erupted after Bhutto's assassination. Rioters rampaged through the streets for days, burning cars and shops.

The turmoil threw plans for Pakistan's Jan. 8 election into disarray. Earlier Wednesday, election officials said the vote is rescheduled for Feb. 18.


"The nation has experienced a great tragedy. Benazir Bhutto has died at the hands of terrorists. I pray to God Almighty to put the eternal soul of Benazir at peace," he said.

From NPR reports and The Associated Press

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