UN likely to extend Bhutto investigation

UN likely to extend Bhut

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday he is "positively considering" a request to extend a UN investigation into the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto for an additional three months. The six-month mandate of the three-member commission Ban appointed to determine the facts and circumstances of Bhutto's death expires at the end of December. The secretary-general said Chile's UN Ambassador Heraldo Munoz, who heads the commission, requested another three months. Bhutto was killed in a Dec. 27, 2007 gun-and-suicide-bomb attack as she was leaving a rally in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, where she was campaigning to return her Pakistan People's Party to power in parliamentary elections. The government at the time of Bhutto's murder, led by President Pervez Musharraf, blamed Baitullah Mehsud, a Pakistani militant commander with reported links to al-Qaida. CIA officials also said Mehsud was the chief suspect. But Bhutto's party repeatedly hinted that Musharraf or his allies were involved and demanded a UN probe, claiming it was the only way the whole truth would be revealed.