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Bhutto braves police - unsuccessfully

Police in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad prevented opposition leader Benazir Bhutto's car from leaving her residence to lead a mass rally protesting President Musharraf's declaration of emergency.


Nov. 9, 2007 –  Pakistani police on Friday blocked popular opposition leader Benazir Bhutto from leaving her Islamabad home to lead a mass rally protesting President Pervez Musharraf’s declaration of a state of emergency.

Bhutto tried to leave her residence compound but a police bus blocked the exit, according to aides accompanying Bhutto. Witnesses told Reuters Bhutto used a megaphone to address the hundreds of riot police around her house, telling them: "Get out of the way. We are your sisters.”

The former prime minister was riding in a bullet-proof car, as she has been since the massive bomb attack on her homecoming convoy Oct. 19.

Reached on her phone shortly after her unsuccessful attempt to breach the police cordon, Bhutto said she was not abandoning her attempt to lead the rally.

"I am still trying to leave the place to lead the rally,” she told the AFP news service. "It is a fight for democracy."
Bhutto planned to attend demonstration

Police had begun cordoning off the popular Pakistani opposition leader’s home early Friday morning in anticipation of a mass demonstration – the first of its kind since Musharraf’s Nov. 3 declaration of emergency. Shortly thereafter, government officials confirmed that the leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had been placed under house arrest.

Bhutto had planned to lead the rally from her home in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad to a public park in the twin city of Rawalpindi 15 km away.

But police were out in full force, erecting barbed wire barricades on major roads leading from Islamabad to Rawalpindi’s Liaqat Bagh, the park where the rally was expected to end.

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