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Pakistani Police Detain 3 For Attempted Terror Attacks


Police in Pakistan say they have detained three men they accuse of planning this month's terror incidents in and around Islamabad, including a blast near the residence of the country's president.

Police officials describe the detainees as "hardcore terrorists," saying they were the planners of the attempted rocket attacks in Islamabad and a blast near President Pervez Musharraf's army residence in the neighboring town of Rawalpindi.

One of those arrested is said to be the son of a former army general. It is not clear whether the suspects are linked to any Islamic militant group.

Pakistani authorities had already arrested eight men in connection with the incidents. Senior police officer Sikandar Hayat says that information gleaned from these al-Qaida linked terror suspects led to the latest arrests.

"We had earlier arrested eight people and on their information we have arrested these three more," said Hyat. "To our belief and to our findings these three are the main perpetrators of the crime."

Three weeks ago, a small, improvised explosive device went off in a park close to General Musharraf's residence in Rawalpindi. A day later, police found two Russian-made anti-tank shells hooked up to mobile phones across a road from parliament and the president's offices in Islamabad.

The same week, authorities found two more rockets planted not far from the headquarters of Pakistan's military intelligence in the capital city. Nobody was hurt in the incidents.

Senior government officials say the terror acts were meant to create chaos and unrest. But President Musharraf has said he might have been the target of the plots. The Pakistani military leader has survived at least three assassination attempts blamed on the al-Qaida terror network.

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