ALONG THE LARKANA-KARACHI HIGHWAY (AP) -Three days after Benazir Bhutto’s killing, driving through her home province is a perilous experience. Charred vehicles, felled trees and rocks litter the highway, and nervous travelers paste her portrait to their cars to appease prowling mobs.

“Long live Bhutto!” one motorist shouted to a gang armed with stones and pieces of wood manning a roadblock.

After a brief discussion, he was allowed to continue on his way.

Bhutto’s killing in a gun and suicide bomb attack on Thursday plunged Pakistan deeper into political crisis and triggered an orgy of violence that has killed more than 40 people and left hundreds of banks, shops, gasoline stations, railway stations and offices torched.

Sindh, an agricultural region in the south of the country where Bhutto grew up, has seen the worst of the unrest.

In one attack near Larkana, unidentified assailants opened fire on a motorcade of Bhutto’s supporters as they headed back to Karachi after her funeral, killing one man and wounding two others, said Waqar Mehdi, a spokesman for Bhutto’s party.

Along the normally bustling highway, hundreds of truckers with loads of coal, rice and sand were stranded at small motels or by the roadside, too scared to continue their journey. Long lines formed at the few gasoline stations bold enough to open.

“We have all been uselessly stuck here for three days and want to reach our destinations and then go home, but who knows when normalcy will return?”, said 30-year-old Farid Ahmed, a stranded driver.

Some people pasted photos of Bhutto on their vehicles, either because they were supporters of the former prime minister or because they felt doing so offered them some protection against the mobs burning bits of wood and pulling cars over.

In towns and cities in Sindh, many people complained about food shortages. “I am looking for fresh milk for my 2-year-old for the past day have not been able to get any,” said Hanif Khan, from Saddar city.

Sindh’s provincial home minister Akhtar Zamin said he ordered police to guard gasoline stations so trucks could resume food deliveries.

“Hopefully things will be normalized at the earliest,” he said. “Everybody is shocked (because of Bhutto’s assassination). The miscreants have created such havoc that people are scared to bring their trucks and lorries on the road.”


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