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/ 27 December 2007

Benazir Bhutto killed in suicide attack

Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on Thursday as she left an election rally in the city of Rawalpindi, putting January 8 polls in doubt and sparking anger in her native Sindh province. State media and her party confirmed Bhutto’s death from a gun and bomb attack. ”She has been martyred,” said party official Rehman Malik.

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/ 18 November 2007

Musharraf widens his sphere of punishment

The bruises suffered by Hassan Tariq, a senior barrister in Sindh province, extend in large purple patches from his hip to his rib cage. According to his own account, he was beaten with ”a hard object” and kicked and punched by officers for refusing to chant slogans in favour of Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf.

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/ 16 November 2007

Pakistan frees Bhutto from house arrest

Pakistan freed opposition leader Benazir Bhutto from house arrest early on Friday, hours after a caretaker prime minister was appointed in a first step towards a national election. Jail officials left the residence in the eastern city of Lahore where Bhutto has been held to prevent her from leading a pro-democracy rally.

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/ 15 November 2007

Pakistani caretaker government due

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is expected to appoint a caretaker government on Thursday to oversee elections he has promised for January but which the opposition say will be a sham under emergency rule. ”We don’t expect fair and free elections under General Musharraf and his mini martial law,” said Farhatullah Babar, an opposition spokesperson.

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/ 14 November 2007

Pakistan opposition aims to unite

Pakistani opposition parties tried to forge a united front on Wednesday against military President Pervez Musharraf who insisted a state of emergency was necessary for fair elections. United States ally Musharraf, who took power in a 1999 coup, declared emergency rule in nuclear-armed Pakistan on November 3.

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/ 13 November 2007

Bhutto: Musharraf must step down

Detained Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto called on Tuesday for military leader Pervez Musharraf to step down as president, isolating him in the run-up to a general election. Britain stepped up pressure on Musharraf, who imposed emergency rule on November 3, backing a 10-day Commonwealth ultimatum for him to end the emergency.

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/ 22 September 2007

Limited Darfur force could be on ground in October

A small amount of extra peacekeeping troops for Sudan’s troubled Darfur region could be in place by October, officials said on Friday after a high-level meeting on Darfur at the United Nations. Nigeria and Rwanda are considering sending ”a few battalions” to the region next month, according to Britain’s secretary of state for Africa.

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/ 14 September 2007

Suicide bomber kills 15 Pakistani soldiers

At least 15 Pakistani soldiers were killed on Thursday in a suicide bombing at an army building near the capital Islamabad, the military said, the second major attack on the army this month. The blast occurred in the canteen of the building used by the army’s elite Special Services Group in the town of Tarbela Ghazi.

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/ 12 September 2007

Dozens of insurgents killed by Pakistan army

Pakistani helicopter gunships and artillery pounded pro-Taliban militant hide-outs in a tribal region near the Afghan border, killing up to 40 insurgents, the army said on Wednesday. Hours earlier, dozens of Islamist fighters attacked a check post and kidnapped 12 troops a few kilometres away in the country’s north-west.

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/ 10 September 2007

Former Pakistani PM arrested, deported

Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif was arrested and deported to Saudi Arabia on Monday within hours of arriving home from exile, vowing to end the rule of President Pervez Musharraf. While with the deportation Musharraf has fended off the immediate challenge from a rival, the president is likely to face a backlash from many Pakistanis.