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Pakistan's top Taliban commander charged in Bhutto assassination

Police in Pakistan have filed charges against the country's top Taliban figure, accusing him of plotting the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Police in Pakistan filed charges Saturday against the Taliban leader in the country, Baitullah Mehsud, and four other men, accusing them of planning the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

A judge in the city of Rawalpindi issued arrest warrants for the five suspects after charges were filed, the chief investigator, Chaudhry Abdul Majeed, said.

Bhutto, who was twice elected prime minister and twice removed from office under charges of corruption, was killed at an election rally in December by a suicide bombing.

Mehsud is based in the region of South Waziristan, on the border with Afghanistan. He has denied any involvement in Bhutto's death.

Five other people have already been arrested in connection with the attack in Rawalpindi on Dec 27.

Elsewhere, Pakistani police were searching for clues after a suicide bomb attack on a police officer's funeral in the Swat district of Pakistan.

At least 40 people were killed in Friday night's explosion, and officials have said that number may rise in the days ahead. Sixty other people were wounded.

Hundreds of grief-stricken relatives wept on Saturday as they lifted coffins and offered funeral prayers for the dead.

One official said everyone is scared. Mourners stood at distances away from each other, fearing another attack. No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion.

Police said about eight to 10 kilograms of explosives were used in the attack, but the casualties were mostly caused by pellets embedded in the bomb.

Pakistani security forces have fought increasingly fierce battles against al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in the country's frontier areas. Hundreds of people have died across northwest Pakistan in recent months.

A Pakistani military commander said this week that there were 400 hard-core militants hiding in the Swat Valley.

In the latest violence in Pakistan, a suicide bomber on Saturday rammed his car into a security vehicle in the northwestern region of Bajur, killing one civilian and injuring 22 others, officials said.

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