US Deals With Aftermath Of Bhutto Assassination

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration had pushed for reconciliation between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and opposition leader Benazir Bhutto — but now it must deal with the fallout from today’s assassination of Bhutto.

A U.S. official confirms that Bhutto was killed after a rally in Pakistan. The official says no person or group has claimed responsibility for her death.

In Crawford, Texas, a White House spokesman says President Bush has been “informed about the situation in Pakistan” while vacationing at his ranch.

A State Department spokesman says the U.S. condemns today’s attack, which he says “demonstrates that there are still those in Pakistan who want to subvert reconciliation and efforts to advance democracy.”

The U.S. had been at the forefront of foreign powers trying to arrange reconciliation between Bhutto and Musharraf. Under heavy U.S. pressure, Musharraf resigned as army chief, and lifted a state of emergency, in the hope that it would put Pakistan back on the road to democracy.

Bhutto’s death comes just two weeks before legislative elections in which her party was expected to do well.