Pakistan frees Bhutto rally bomb suspect

A man with suspected links to a suicide bombing that killed 150 people at a rally last year for Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was ordered freed from custody Wednesday for lack of evidence, an investigator said.

Pakistan frees Bhutto rally bomb suspect
Bhutto survived the October bombing in Karachi but died in another suicide bomb and gun attack near the capital two months later.

Qari Saifullah Akhtar was arrested in Lahore last month, and was transferred to police in Karachi for questioning in connection with the October attack.

On Wednesday, a court ordered Akhtar freed because authorities had insufficient evidence to continue holding him, said police investigator Nawaz Ranjha.

Ranjha said police were still collecting evidence and could arrest Akhtar again in the future.

In a memoir published just after she died in December, Bhutto named Akhtar as a suspect in the Karachi bombing.

Akhtar's lawyer has said his client denies any involvement and has sought to halt sale of Bhutto's book, titled "Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West."

Meanwhile, police in the eastern city of Lahore said another bombing suspect "died" Wednesday in custody there.

The man, identified as Mohammed Afzal, allegedly had purchased the truck used in a March 11 suicide bombing at a federal building in Lahore, a police statement said. The bombing killed 21 people.

Afzal's cause of death could not be determined, and an autopsy would be conducted, the statement said.

Agencies

Last Mod: 27 Mart 2008, 16:35
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