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Bhutto's widower urges UN probe into slaying

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Associated Press / January 6, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Benazir Bhutto's widowed husband accused members of Pakistan's ruling regime of involvement in his wife's killing and called yesterday for a United Nations investigation, as British officers aiding Pakistan's own inquiry pored over the crime scene.

"An investigation conducted by the government of Pakistan will have no credibility, in my country or anywhere else," Asif Ali Zardari, the effective leader of Bhutto's opposition party, said in a commentary published in The Washington Post. "One does not put the fox in charge of the henhouse."

Calls for an independent, international investigation have intensified since Bhutto was killed Dec. 27 in a shooting and bombing attack after a campaign rally. Opposition activists denounced the government's initial assessment that an Islamic militant was behind the attack and that Bhutto died, not from gunshot wounds, but from the force of the blast.

President Pervez Musharraf conceded that investigators may have drawn conclusions too quickly and mishandled evidence, including hosing down the site hours after the attack. But he insisted that the government was competent to run the investigation with the help of forensic scientists from Britain's Scotland Yard.

In an interview to be aired on CBS's "60 Minutes" tonight, Musharraf acknowledged that Bhutto may have been shot, CBS reported on its website. "Yes, absolutely, yes. Possibility," Musharraf was quoted as saying.

The United States said it did not believe a UN investigation was needed.

Zardari said no government investigation would satisfy him, and urged "friends of democracy in the West . . . to endorse the call for such an independent investigation."

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