'Benazir killed for backing Lal Masjid operation'

Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated  for supporting the Lal Masjid operation, an anti-terrorism court has been told.

Dawn quoted Magistrate Taufiq Ahmed, who recorded confessional statements of the accused Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul and Aitzaz Shah Feb 13, 2008 as saying that they wanted to kill Bhutto because of the deaths of 23 people in the operation. 

Regretting the incident, the accused said they would accept any punishment awarded to them, Ahmed added.

Then president Pervez Musharraf ordered the Lal Masjid operation against fundamentalist Islamic militants in July 2007.

On Saturday, during the hearing of the Bhutto assassination case in Rawalpindi's Central Jail, the magistrate read out the confessional statements before the anti-terrorism court.

According to the statements, the accused received Rs. 360,000 from militant leader Baitullah Mehsood while his associates, Abdullah alias Saddam and Qari Ismail, provided them two suicide bombers Saeed alias Bilal and Ikramullah.

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