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Pakistan Officials Make Arrests in Musharraf Attempted Assassination Case


Pakistani officials say they have detained a police officer in connection with the Christmas Day assassination attempt on President Pervez Musharraf.

Pakistan Interior Ministry spokesman, Abdur-Rauf Chaudry, says the policeman was one of 20 to 25 people taken into custody in connection with the failed attack on President Pervez Musharraf.

On December 25, two suicide bombers drove cars into President Musharraf's motorcade - missing the president but killing some 15 passersby and security officials.

Local reports identified the detained officer as a member of President Musharraf's security detail, who is believed to have made a phone call to one of the bombers shortly before the attack.

But Islamabad Police Inspector-General Fiaz Ahmed Toru told VOA there is no evidence of any such phone call. "He's not the only one. … He was just in possession of a mobile [phone]," he said. "There is no truth in this that you read in the papers."

Interior Ministry Spokesman Chaudry would not comment on the reports, but said the investigation is in its final stages and charges may be filed within the coming weeks. "They have some good clues about the case, and they are now nearing the completion of the investigation."

The failed assassination bid was the second such attempt on President Musharraf's life in less than a month.

On December 14, a remote-control bomb failed to detonate as the president's convoy passed over a bridge road - just several hundred meters from where the second failed assassination attempt was staged.

Mr. Chaudry says the December 14 investigation appears to be a more difficult case and little progress has been made.