Five get death penalty for 2003 attempt on Musharraf’s life

Islamabad, August 26:

A Pakistani military court sentenced five men to death today for their roles in the 2003 plot to kill President Gen Pervez Musharraf, an army spokesman said. The men, one of them a soldier, were arrested after suicide bombers tried to ram two explosives-laden vehicles into Musharraf’s motorcade on a road in the city of Rawalpindi, near the capital, Islamabad, on December 25, 2003, said Maj Gen Shaukat Sultan. Musharraf escaped unharmed, but 16 people, mostly the president’s police guards, were killed.

Three other civilians were given lesser sentences today in connection with the plot, but Sultan declined to provide any further details. Sultan would not say where the trial was held. The attack came eleven days after Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network, with the help of Pakistani Islamic militants, tried to kill Musharraf by blowing up his motorcade on a bridge in Rawalpindi.