World
Pakistan's Musharraf survives assassination bomb attempt: police
Publish Date: Apr 03, 2014
Pakistan's Musharraf survives assassination bomb attempt: police
Pakistani policemen inspect the site of a bomb explosion in Islamabad on April 3, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Aamir QURESHI
  • mail
  • img
newvision

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who is on trial for treason, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt as a bomb went off shortly before his convoy was due to pass early Thursday, police said.

The bomb was planted on Musharraf's route from an army hospital in Rawalpindi where he has been staying since January to his home on the outskirts of Islamabad and went off at around 2:00 am (2100 GMT Wednesday).

Nobody was injured and there have so far been no claims of responsibility.

"Four kilograms of explosive device planted in a pipeline under a bridge exploded around 20 minutes before the former president was supposed to cross the spot," senior police official Liaqat Niazi said.

The blast occurred at the Faizabad interchange, which lies at the boundary of the two cities, and destroyed a footpath around two metres wide.

Niazi said the former president was then taken home via an alternative route.

Muhammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Islamabad police, confirmed the incident, saying a bomb disposal squad had cordoned off the area after the blast and searched for additional explosives.

"Nobody was injured in the blast," he said, adding Musharraf was the intended target.

This file photograph taken on April 20, 2013 shows former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf saluting as he is escorted by military personnel on his arrival at an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad. Photo/AFP

Musharraf, who led Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, returned from self-imposed exile in March last year to fight in general elections, but was barred from taking part and has faced a series of legal cases including treason.

The Taliban also vowed to send a squad of suicide bombers to kill him, and security threats have prevented him from appearing at all but two of his treason hearings.

It was the fourth attempt on the ex-general's life, with the first three occurring while he was in office.

- No deal, yet-

On Monday, a special court indicted Musharraf for treason, in what was seen as a milestone for civilian authority in a country long dominated by the army.

The charges relate to Musharraf's 2007 imposition of emergency rule which came as the Supreme Court was due to rule on the validity of his re-election as president.

Treason carries the maximum penalty of death, but some analysts were sceptical whether the government would allow the trial to be seen through to its completion and risk a greater clash with the military.

Musharraf had also sought permission to leave the country to see his ailing mother in the UAE, leading to renewed speculation that a deal, which would allow all sides to save face, was imminent.

But the government on Wednesday refused to end a travel ban preventing Musharraf from leaving the country.

"The interior ministry has sent a written reply to Musharraf refusing to lift travel bans as there are a number of cases against him," an official of the interior ministry told AFP.

Musharraf had been staying at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in the garrison city of Rawalpindi since being taken ill with a heart condition in January.

But he was believed to be keen to return to his comfortable villa in the scenic Bani Gala suburb of Islamabad.

Ahmad Raza Kasuri, a member of his legal team, told reporters that Musharraf had discharged himself.

"He left the AFIC at his own request and was with his son Bilal," he said.

Thursday's attack had echoes of the first major attempt on Musharraf's life in December 2003, when a powerful bomb went off minutes after his highly guarded convoy crossed a bridge in Rawalpindi.

A few days later, he survived another attempt by two suicide bombers which left 16 people dead.

In July 2007, an unknown group fired a 7.62 submachine gun at Musharraf's plane as it took off from a runway in Rawalpindi.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Pistorius to learn sentence for killing girlfriend
SOUTH African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius today learns his sentence for shooting dead his girlfriend on Valentine's Day last year...
Warring S.Sudan leaders accept
SOUTH Sudan President Salva Kiir and his arch-rival rebel chief Riek Machar have accepted mutual responsibility for a 10-month civil war...
US drone crashes at Niger airport
A US drone crash-landed at Niger's main airport for unknown reasons on Monday, the US army said, forcing the closure of the runway for several hours....
Warring South Sudan rivals meet in Tanzania
WARRING South Sudanese factions were meeting Monday in Tanzania in the latest bid to end a 10-month civil war in which thousands of people have been killed...
WHO declares Nigeria Ebola-free
AFRICA''S most populous nation Nigeria has been declared officially Ebola free but warned that it remained vulnerable as long as the virus was raging elsewhere in west Africa...
Prince William and wife Kate expecting second child
PRINCE William and his wife Kate's second child, who will be fourth in line to the British throne, is due in April, an official statement said...
Do Ugandan tycoons prepare their children to take over their business empires?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter