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Pakistan hangs soldier who plotted to kill Musharraf
Updated: 2005-08-20 17:25

A soldier convicted of plotting to assassinate Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was hanged on Saturday, a senior government official said, reported Reuters.

Islam Siddiqui, one of several soldiers and militants arrested after two al Qaeda-inspired attempts on Musharraf's life in late 2003, was executed in the central city of Multan after being sentenced by a military court last year.

"He was hanged this morning and his body was handed over to his family," Hasan Waseem Afzal, Home Secretary of the Punjab province, told Reuters.

Musharraf became a prime target for al Qaeda after he withdrew support for the Taliban government harbouring Osama bin Laden in neighbouring Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Homegrown Pakistani militant groups, some of which had covert ties with the military, were incensed by the abandonment of their Taliban friends and by Musharraf's subsequent efforts to make peace with India over the disputed region of Kashmir.

Pakistan's military did not comment on the execution, but prison officials said that Siddiqui's appeal for mercy was turned down by General Musharraf's vice army chief.

Siddiqui was found guilty of being involved in an assassination attempt on December 14, 2003, when a bomb blew up a bridge in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, minutes after Musharraf's car passed over it.

Eleven days later, again in Rawalpindi, suicide bombers attacked his motorcade, killing 15 people.

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