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Oct. 27, 2007 at 8:23 AM
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Benazir Bhutto visits father's tomb

LARKANA, Pakistan, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Supporters Saturday cheered former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as she rode in a bulletproof vehicle to pray at the tomb of her slain father.

Amid heavy security, an estimated 4,000 supporters lined the streets of Bhutto's home village of Larkana as she traveled to the tomb of her father, former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the BBC reported.

It was Bhutto's first trip outside Karachi since 139 people were killed in an assassination attempt on her life Oct. 18.

"People are just being butchered and it has to stop, somebody has to find a solution and my solution is let's restore democracy," she said. "Let's give the people education, let's give the people empowerment, let's give the people employment."

Meanwhile, Pakistan's ambassador to the United States rejected Bhutto's allegations that current and former government officials were involved in the bombing of her motorcade.

“I think, with due respect to her, it was absurd,” Mahmud Ali Durrani told the New York Times Thursday, vowing the suicide bombers would be identified and their backers arrested.

Islamic militants behead four in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Four captives were beheaded by Islamic militants in Pakistan's violence-plagued Swat district in the northwest, the English language Dawn reported Saturday.

The report said the public executions occurred in Shakkardarra village, near where Pakistani troops have been sent to contain pro-Taliban supporters led by a cleric.

The identities of the victims have not been established but residents said two were police officers and the other two may have belonged to security agencies. A Pakistan military spokesman said no paramilitary personnel were missing or had been killed.

Pakistan has sent more than 2,000 paramilitary troops to regain control of the region from the militants.

A villager told Pakistan Dawn armed masked men beheaded the victims Friday evening. The four, all described as being in their mid-20s, had their hands tied together.

“Let this serve as a warning to all those who spy for the government or help the government. All sons of (U.S. President George) Bush will meet similar fate,” one of the militants reportedly announced before victims were killed.

“We watched the gory scene in shock and horror. We felt so helpless. There was fear and gloom in the village,” the witness told Dawn.

Turkey rejects Iraq's PKK plan

ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Turkey says Iraq must hand over separatist Kurdish rebels and close their mountain bases in northern Iraq to prevent an escalation of cross-border violence.

Turkish officials Friday rejected a range of milder proposals from an Iraqi delegation visiting Ankara, the BBC reported Saturday.

The foreign ministry officials called the Iraqi team's proposals "sincere," but said more urgent action was need to avert a Turkish ground attack on the bases of the armed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, in northern Iraq.

The Iraqi team had suggested closing offices in northern Iraq related to PKK activities and disrupting the movement of PKK members, who are seeking greater autonomy for Kurds in Turkey.

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek called every PKK member a "criminal" and gave the Iraqi team a list of the most wanted PKK members.

Turkish military aircraft Friday strafed PKK positions along the border after violence last weekend killed 12 Turkish soldiers and an estimated 23 PKK fighters. Another eight Turkish soldiers remain missing.

Key rebels boycott Darfur talks in Libya

TRIPOLI, Libya, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Two key rebel groups refused to participate Saturday in talks in Libya aimed at ending four years of war in Sudan's Darfur region.

Rebel groups SLA-Unity and Equality Movement, known as Jem, said too many smaller rebel factions had been invited to the talks, the BBC reported.

" The mediation has fallen in the trap prepared by the government by making the negotiations an arena for every Jack, Tom and Harry," said Mohammed Bahr Hamdeen, a senior Jem leader.

SLA-Unity and Jem were the main rebel groups when fighting began in 2003. Now there are 12 rebels factions involved in Darfur's conflict, which has killed nearly 200,000 people and displaced an estimated 2 million, the BBC said.

A 2006 Darfur peace pact disintegrated because it was signed by the Sudanese government and only a fraction of the rebels. The Darfur talks in Sirte are being sponsored by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

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