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World Leaders Outraged at Bhutto Assassination

  • VOA News

World leaders have expressed outrage at the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

US President George Bush condemned Thursday's attack as a "cowardly act" by murderous extremists trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy.

He urged Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to keep the country on a democratic path, and demanded that her killers be brought to justice.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice described Ms. Bhutto's passing as a great loss for Pakistan.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Ms. Bhutto's death a blow to the democratic process in Pakistan. He said the incident is a reminder of the common dangers the region faces from terrorism, and of the need to eradicate it.

The UN Security Council joined Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in condemning the assassination. The Council called on all Pakistanis to show restraint and maintain stability.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with Ms. Bhutto in Islamabad just hours before her assassination. He said she was a brave woman with a clear vision of democracy, prosperity and peace for Pakistan, Afghanistan and the whole region.

In Britain, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Ms. Bhutto risked everything in her attempt to win democracy in Pakistan. He paid tribute to her as a woman of immense personal courage and bravery.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy said the attack in Rawalpindi was an odious act. Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said Ms. Bhutto chose to fight her battle until the end with a single weapon -- that of dialogue and political discussion.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the attack, and called on authorities to ensure stability in the country especially during the election period.

The United States considers Pakistan a key ally in the war on terror, and has given 11 billion dollars in mostly military aid since 2001.

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