Violence spreads across Pakistan in wake of Bhutto assassination

Thursday, December 27th 2007, 5:47 pm
By: News 9

Associated Press

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan -- At least nine deaths were reported across Pakistan in rioting that broke out following the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

The former Pakistani prime minister was killed by an attacker who shot her after a campaign rally and then blew himself up. At least 20 others also died in the attack.

The government announced three days of mourning for Bhutto, including the closing of schools, commercial centers and banks.

As news of Bhutto's death spread, angry supporters took to the streets. In Karachi, shop owners quickly closed their businesses as protesters set tires on fire on the roads, torched several vehicles and burned a gas station.

One man was killed in a shootout between police and protesters in a town north of Karachi. Two people were killed in the southern Sindh province and two others in Lahore.

Violence also broke out in other parts of Pakistan where Bhutto supporters burned banks, state-run grocery stores and private shops.