Bomb Blasts Mar Bhutto's Return

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

As supporters for Benazir Bhutto celebrated the former Pakistani prime minister's return from exile, a bomb ripped through the festivities and killed as many as 136 people. Bhutto wasn't hurt in what Pakistan's president is calling a "conspiracy against democracy."


Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto narrowly escaped death yesterday when two bombs exploded - killing at least 136 people.


Now, reports of the number of wounded vary from 250 to 400. Bhutto herself was not injured. The attack happened just hours after Bhutto returned to the country after eight years in exile. She was making her way on a parade route lined by hundreds of thousands of cheering supporters. After the bombing, Bhutto was immediately taken to her home.

BURBANK: She'd spent eight hours on the open roof of a truck and had just moved into the armored interior moments before the blast. There was no claim of the responsibility for the bombing of the convoy. But today, a Pakistani security official said the attack were the hallmarks of an al-Qaida-linked pro-Taliban warlord based near the Afghan border.

STEWART: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who was attempting to form a pro-U.S., anti-militant coalition with Bhutto, labeled the attack part of a, quote, "conspiracy against democracy."

BURBANK: Now Mahmud Ali Durrani, Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S., told the Associated Press this bombing would not deter reforms there.

Ambassador MAHMUD ALI DURRANI (Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.S.): We will continue with our movement, with our political movement in moving towards democracy, and I don't think this will cause chaos.

STEWART: Now the parade was in celebration of Bhutto's return. It had drawn about 200,000 people, a sign that she remains a popular figure in the country despite allegations of corruption when she was its leader.

BURBANK: And that is today's BPP big story.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from