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Bhutto memorial draws 150,000 one year on

Article published on the 2008-12-27 Latest update 2008-12-29 10:50 TU

A mourner cries at Benazir Bhutto's grave.(Photo: Reuters)

A mourner cries at Benazir Bhutto's grave.
(Photo: Reuters)

More than 150,000 grieving mourners thronged to the tomb of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto Saturday to mark one year since she was assassinated. Her widower, President Asif Ali Zardari, called on her supporters to uphold the values Bhutto lived by.

"In the tradition of a true Bhutto, she faced certain death rather than abandon her principles or the people," Zardari said in a message to the nation to mark the anniversary.

"The tyrants and the killers have killed her but they shall never be able to kill her ideas, which drove and inspired a generation to lofty aims," he said.

Mourners lined up before dawn to pass through tough security barriers that included metal detectors and a special wall that had been set up for the memorial. Closed circuit cameras were also installed to assist the more than 7,000 police officers on hand.

Bhutto was assassinated on 27 December 2007 in a gun and suicide bomb attack at a campaign rally in Rawalpindi, just two months after returning to Pakistan from exile to vie for a new political career.

Her shocking death threw the world's only nuclear-armed Islamic nation into chaos, sparking violence and leading to months of political turmoil that ended in September when her widower, Asif Ali Zardari, claimed the presidency.