Monday, December 15, 2003

Musharraf almost killed

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was the subject of a recent assassination attempt:

President Pervez Musharraf narrowly survived an assassination attempt here tonight when a large bomb detonated on a bridge 30 seconds after his motorcade had crossed.

Visibly shaken, General Musharraf appeared on state television and described what was by far the most serious attempt on his life since he sided with the United States in the campaign against terrorism in September 2001.

"The bomb exploded half a minute after I crossed," General Musharraf said. "I felt the explosion in my car. That is all I know. Certainly it was me who was targeted.

"I am used to such things. They have happened before. God is great. No problem, life continues."

The location of the assassination attempt was unusual: Rawalpindi lies near the nerve center of Pakistan's military establishment. It is considered one of the most secure cities in the country.

The bomb, described by officials as large, exploded 500 yards from the headquarters of the Pakistani Army 11th Corps and only a few miles from the Pakistani Army headquarters, where General Musharraf lives.

A senior Pakistani intelligence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said it was unusual that someone outside General Musharraf's close circle of aides would know the exact timing of his movements.


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