Musharraf escapes yet another assassination bid
* Rounds fired from submachine gun miss president’s aircraft
* Police seize guns
* ISPR denies president’s plane fired at
Staff Report: Daily Times, July 7, 2007
ISLAMABAD: President General Pervez Musharraf escaped yet another attempt on his life on Friday morning when around 36 rounds fired at his aircraft from a submachine gun in Rawalpindi missed their target. However, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) denied that the president’s plane had been attacked.
Police said that the president’s plane took off from the Chaklala airbase for flood-hit areas of Balochistan and Sindh at around 10:15am and came under fire soon thereafter. The rounds were fired by a sub machinegun 10.62 installed on the roof of a two-storey house, Fazal Manzil, in Asghar Mall not far from Islamabad Airport and the Chaklala airbase.
Police, army and intelligence agencies rushed to the house soon after the attack and seized a submachine gun, two anti-aircraft guns with tripods and two satellite antennas. The law enforcement personnel also arrested the house owner, Muhammad Sharif, and sealed the premises.
Neighbours said that three bearded men, a woman and two children used to live in the house, but none of them were present when the law enforcers reached there. They said that two of the three bearded men were seen fleeing the area on a motorbike shouting slogans of Allah-ho-Akbar after the attack. They did not know when the third bearded man, woman and the children escaped.
ISPR DG Major General Waheed Arshad denied that the president’s aircraft had been fired at in Rawalpindi on way to Turbat (Balochistan). “The president was not in the aircraft which was targeted. I have no details about the incident as investigations are underway,” he said.
Agencies add: Police have arrested two people in connection with the attack on the president’s aircraft. One of the suspects has been identified as Ghaffar who is a property dealer and had rented the house to the alleged attackers, NNI reported.
A security official asking not to be named told AFP that the guns were “similar to those used by the Taliban in Afghanistan”.
Security officials said it was “possible that the incident was against the backdrop of the episode of Lal Masjid.