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Bhutto aide suggests cover-up

  • Story Highlights
  • Rehman: Bullet wounds to Bhutto's head were apparent while body was bathed
  • Government said Bhutto died when head struck against sunroof lever
  • Dozens of people have been killed in violence since her death, spokesmen say
    Doctor who treated Bhutto says she had a large wound on the side of her head
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KARACHI, Pakistan (CNN) -- A top aide who helped bathe Benazir Bhutto's body after her death said it was clear that the former Pakistani prime minister suffered bullet wounds to her head, contrary to a government report that she died because she hit her head on a sunroof lever.

Pakistan People's Party information secretary Sherry Rehman, who was riding in the car behind Bhutto's when it was attacked, called the government's conclusion that Bhutto was not shot "the most bizarre, dangerous nonsense."

"It's beginning to look like a cover up to me," Rehman said in a CNN interview.

Rehman said Bhutto was hemorrhaging on the way to the hospital and that the two cars used to get her there were blood-soaked.

"There were clear bullet injuries to her head," said Rehman. "When we bathed her we saw that." Watch Sherry Rehman's interview with CNN Video

On Thursday, hours after Bhutto's death, the Pakistani Interior Ministry said she died from a gunshot wound to the neck, with the gunman firing as Bhutto stood through the open sunroof of her vehicle as she left a rally in Rawalpindi.

The gunman then blew himself up, killing 23 others as well, officials said.

Video of the incident shows a man shooting a handgun three times toward Bhutto's car before the blast. Watch three shots and a blast Video

The account was consistent with statements to The Associated Press from doctors who pronounced Bhutto dead at a hospital.

But on Friday, the Interior Ministry said Bhutto was killed by shrapnel from the explosion.

Then, hours later, the ministry said she died from a skull fracture suffered when she either fell or ducked into the car as a result of the shots or the explosion and crashed her head into a sunroof latch. Video Watch the government account of how Bhutto died »

"The government comes up with the most bizarre, dangerous nonsense and it indicates that they are abdicating themselves of all responsibility by saying that she may have knocked her head or concussed her head against one of the levers on the sunroof," Rehman said.

Dr. Mussadiq Khan of Rawalpindi General Hospital, who treated Bhutto before she was pronounced dead, said she had a large wound on the side of her head consistent with striking or being struck by "something big, with a lot of speed."

Meanwhile, a Pakistani provincial official said at least 44 people had been killed during unrest in the country's Sindh province since Bhutto was assassinated.

Akhtar Zaman, provincial interior minister, told CNN on Saturday that four of those killed were police officers. Sindh province is Bhutto's home province and a bastion of support for her Pakistan People's Party.

Zaman gave other figures on the violence in the southern Pakistani province. He said 900 vehicles were set ablaze, 672 of those in Karachi. Also set on fire were 37 police stations, 141 banks, and 31 gas stations. He said at least 368 people were arrested.


At the same time, Pakistan's Interior Ministry spokesman provided figures for the whole country. He said 38 people had died and 53 others were wounded.

He said 174 banks have burned and 26 banks have been destroyed,158 offices have been burned and 23 have been damaged. He said 43 gas stations have been ignited. There were 370 cars destroyed and 61 cars damaged. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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