The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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After bomb, rockets in Pak

Islamabad, Oct. 5: Pakistani security officials today defused two rockets attached to mobile phones near Parliament House in Islamabad, hours after a mysterious blast in a park close to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s official residence in Rawalpindi.

“Sniffer dogs detected the two rockets during a routine check in the area which is close to the President and Prime Minister’s homes, parliamentary lodges and the supreme court,”police officials said in Islamabad.

The officials said the terrorists may have planned to use the phones to launch the rockets.

The officials added that the 107 MM rockets were pointed towards the main government buildings.

As police recovered the rockets, the state-run Pakistan Television showed Musharraf appearing in a conference on the reconstruction of northern parts of the country following a devastating earthquake a year ago.

Witnesses saw police taking away in buses scores of labourers working at a nearby construction site. “We have detained a few people for questioning,” a senior police official said.

The incident comes a day after a small explosive device exploded in the National Park near Musharraf’s army residence in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, adjoining Islamabad.

Musharraf stays in Rawalpindi and seldom uses the presidential residence in Islamabad. The military said the blast in the Rawalpindi park was unrelated to Musharraf or his military residence, Army House.

“A search team was immediately sent to the park to probe the incident and determine the type and quantity of the explosive material,” chief military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan said but denied the explosion was caused by a missile or a rocket.

However, a report in the Dawn newspaper quoted a security official, who requested anonymity, as saying that the explosion was caused by a bomb while a huge quantity of other explosives failed to detonate.

The explosion triggered wild speculation in the twin cities about another abortive attempt on Musharraf’s life who has survived two assassination attempts in December 2003.

The attacks were apparently carried out by extremists unhappy with Musharraf’s support to the US in the war against terror.

Within minutes of the Rawalpindi explosion, army teams, elite police commandos and intelligence officials reached the park and sealed off the entrances.

Bomb disposal squads with armoured vehicles were seen going into the park.

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