December 27, 2007 / 10:35 AM / in 10 years

Bhutto killed in gun, bomb attack

<p>A suspected suicide bomber killed about 15 people on Thursday outside a rally by Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto in the city of Rawalpindi, police said. REUTERS/Graphic</p>

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was killed in a gun and bomb attack after a rally in the city of Rawalpindi on Thursday, her party said.

“She has been martyred,” said party official Rehman Malik.

Bhutto, 54, died in hospital in Rawalpindi. Ary-One Television said she had been shot in the head.

Police said a suicide bomber fired shots at Bhutto as she was leaving the rally venue in a park before blowing himself up.

<p>Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto speaks during an election rally in Peshawar December 26, 2007. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed (PAKISTAN)</p>

“The man first fired at Bhutto’s vehicle. She ducked and then he blew himself up,” said police officer Mohammad Shahid.

Police said 16 people had been killed in the blast.

<p>A man looks at a vehicle damaged in a gunfire in Rawalpindi city December 27, 2007. Gunmen opened fire on supporters of former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday from an office of the party that supports President Pervez Musharraf, police said. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood</p>

Earlier, party officials said Bhutto was safe.

A Reuters witness said he saw bodies on a road as well as a mutilated human head.

A suicide bomber killed nearly 150 people in an attack on Bhutto on October 18 as she paraded through the southern city of Karachi after returning home from eight years in self-imposed exile.

Additional reporting by Kamran Haider; Writing by Robert Birsel; editing by Roger Crabb

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