Pakistan erupts in violence after Bhutto murder

Violence has swept Pakistan following Thursday’s assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto. The government, however, has ruled out sending troops onto the streets of several major cities in the country.

The country's law enforcement agencies are now on high alert after violence erupted just two weeks before the crucial parliamentary election. At least 23 people have been killed, including a candidate for the party that supports President Pervez Musharraf.

Thousands of supporters packed the streets of Benazir Bhutto's home town of Nau Dero.  The nation-wide mourning proves that she was one of Pakistan's most influential political figures despite having been in exile for almost a decade.

They carried her coffin to be laid to rest near her father's tomb. He was hanged 28 years ago after being thrown out of office by military dictators.

Bhutto was assassinated on Thursday at an election rally.  Earlier reports suggested that the 54-year-old had been shot in the head. But new reports are now saying she died from head injuries received from the force of the suicide bomb explosion.

Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack.

Meanwhile, many experts doubt January's election will be able to take place on time even if the stand-in Prime Minister insists it will.