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Wednesday, 10 July, 2002, 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK
Musharraf 'murder plotters' in court
Suspects Mohammad Hanif, left,  and Mohammad Imran Bhai at news conference
Two suspects also admit bombing the US consulate
Three men have appeared before an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan accused of trying to assassinate President Pervez Musharraf.

Wasim Akhtar, a member of the security forces, and two alleged militants, Mohammad Hanif and Mohammad Imran, were remanded in police custody until 20 July.

Police say they tried to blow up the president's motorcade when he visited the southern city of Karachi in April.

President Musharraf
Musharraf seized power in a 1999 coup
Mr Akhtar's alleged accomplices are also accused of carrying out two recent bombings against foreign targets in the city which killed more than 25 people.

Police say they are members of the al-Alami offshoot of the banned Muslim extremist group, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen.

Another of its members, Sheikh Mohammed Ahmed, is also detained, police say.

The BBC's Adam Brookes in Islamabad says General Musharraf has repeatedly committed himself to curbing terrorism and Islamic militancy.

He says a guilty verdict in the Akhtar case would show that even within Pakistan's security establishment are those who remain violently opposed to such policies.

Bomb 'failed'

Mr Akhtar is an inspector in the paramilitary Pakistan Rangers.

He is said to have helped the group by providing details of the president's itinerary when he visited Karachi to campaign before the controversial April referendum which extended his term in office.

US investigators at the bomb site
Investigations are focusing on a Suzuki
Police say the men planted a car full of explosives on Karachi's main street and tried to blow it up as General Musharraf drove past - but the remote device failed.

News first emerged of the attempt on Monday.

Police say the group used a Suzuki pick-up - the same car later used in a bomb blast outside the US consulate.

That attack, on 14 June, killed 12 Pakistanis.

A bomb on 8 May near the Sheraton Hotel killed 14 people, 11 of them French engineers.

Police say are looking for a number of other suspects in both the assassination attempt and the bombings.

Musharraf's Pakistan

Democracy challenge

Militant threat

Background

TALKING POINT

FROM THE ARCHIVES

BBC WORLD SERVICE
See also:

09 Jul 02 | South Asia
29 Jun 02 | South Asia
18 Jun 02 | South Asia
15 Jun 02 | South Asia
13 Jan 02 | South Asia
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