Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan after eight years in exile and survived a suicide bomb blast during her arrival procession in Karachi. Her Dec. 27 campaign rally in Rawalpindi was her largest event, drawing thousands of supporters. Departing the rally, she came out into the open road, waving from the sunroof of her armored vehicle.
Photographer John Moore said he “was actually walking away at the time. The campaign rally had finished and I … wanted to get ahead of the throngs of Benazir Bhutto supporters. But when I heard a cheer erupt, I turned around, and there she was.”
“Shoving past people to get close to her vehicle, I shot 15 frames just in front of her car, photos of her waving goodbye to her supporters.”
Then, gunshots sounded, and as Bhutto dropped down through the roof and into the car, a suicide bomber set off his charge.
Moore, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for his coverage of the war in Iraq, recalled that the “most difficult moment for me was just after the blast. There was an eerie silence and as the smoke cleared, a horrible tableau of carnage spread before me.”
Judges lauded the winning images as they “not only documented a scene that changed the world, but also singled out the emotional response of one man, making the news personal.”