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Prosecutor In Musharraf-Bhutto Case Shot Dead


Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfikar (center) talking to journalists outside a court in Rawalpindi on April 26.
The lead prosecutor in the case of the murder of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been shot dead.

Police said unidentified gunmen attacked the car of Chaudhry Zulfikar, the state prosecutor for Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency, in Islamabad as he was driving to court in Rawalpindi on May 3.

"There were two or three gunmen who shot him while he was in the backseat," Irshaad Abro, the head of a police station in Islamabad, told RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal. "As a result, he died, while his bodyguard was injured. Also, the car hit a woman who was walking nearby and she also died.”

The gunmen reportedly shot Zulfikar in the head, shoulder, and chest.

Police said a massive search is under way to find the attackers.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Senior police officer Jameel Hashmi gave few details of the investigation but said authorities had some leads to follow.

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"We have evidence from several witnesses, but we cannot disclose anything at this stage," Hashmi said.

Zulfikar, one of Pakistan’s most senior criminal lawyers, was involved in several high-profile cases.

He had been investigating Bhutto's assassination in a gun and suicide attack while she was campaigning in 2007.

Prosecutors have accused former military ruler Pervez Musharraf of negligence for not providing enough security for Bhutto.

Police collect evidence from the car in which Chaudhry Zulfikar was traveling when he was attacked.
Police collect evidence from the car in which Chaudhry Zulfikar was traveling when he was attacked.

A UN report in 2010 said Bhutto's death could have been prevented. The report stated the possibility could not be ruled out that members of Pakistan’s military or security services were involved.

No one has ever been convicted for Bhutto’s killing.

Zulfikar was also leading the prosecution against several members of the Lashkar-e Taiba militant group who are accused of involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.

The three-day shooting and bombing rampage in the Indian city killed 166 people.

Last year, Zulfikar was given extra security after he received numerous death threats.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the killing and called for a thorough investigation.

With reporting by AP, AFP, BBC, and Reuters