Attempts on Musharraf's life: Two held

Two people have been arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of involvement in two recent assassination attempts on President Pervez Musharraf.

    Musharraf survived two assassination attempts

    An intelligence official identified them as Khalifa bin Hussain,a Tunisian, and his Pakistani host, Adnan Afridi.


    They were arrested on Thursday in a raid on Afridi's house in a tribal region of North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan.


    Officials said security forces had also arrested two more foreign suspects, one an Afghan, after a shootout on Friday in the same region.


    The second raid was conducted on the basis of information gleaned from Khalifa and Afridi but it was unclear whether the second pair had any role in attempts on Musharraf's life.


    Hand grenade


    One of the two latter suspects threw a hand grenade at the security forces, wounding two paramilitary soldiers and himself, said an official, who asked not to be identified.


    The intelligence official said Afridi was thought to be a member of Jaish-e-Muhammad, an outlawed group fighting Indian rule in the divided state of Kashmir. He said security forces seized explosives, landmines and weapons from his house.


    "Preliminary investigations reveal that they have links with Jaish-e-Muhammad for operations and training purposes"

    Intelligence official,

    The intelligence official said the security forces had also seized explosives, landmines and weapons from Afridi's house.


    "The types of explosives recovered from the house were similar to those used in the life attempts on the president," the official said. "We suspect they might have links with these attempts.


    "Preliminary investigations reveal that they have links with Jaish-e-Muhammad for operations and training purposes."


    Musharraf, a key US ally narrowly escaped two assassination attempts in Rawalpindi,

    close to Islamabad, in December. Both involved powerful explosives detonated close to his motorcade.


    Officials say they have arrested several people, some with links to Jaish-e-Muhammad, which had ties with the al-Qaida network and Afghanistan's ousted Taliban.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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