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A Top Pakistani General Escapes an Assassination Attempt That Kills 10 People

Suspected Islamic militants ambushed the motorcade of a top Pakistani general in the heart of the battered southern port city of Karachi on Thursday morning, killing six soldiers, three policemen and a civilian, but leaving the general unhurt, military officials said.The bold daylight assassination attempt, which occurred 500 yards from the American Consulate, was the fifth terrorist attack in Pakistan’s largest city and commercial hub in the last five weeks. The Karachi Stock Exchange, Pakistan’s largest, plunged 120 points, or 1.7 percent, after news of the attack spread. Pakistani military analysts said the spate of attacks in Karachi – which have included two suicide bombings, a double-car bombing near the American consul general’s residence and an assassination – appeared to be part a new effort by extremists to disrupt and destabilize the government of President Pervez Musharraf, a close American ally. The attacks, including Thursday morning’s assassination attempt, have produced troubling signs that militants have successfully infiltrated the lower ranks of Pakistani military and police forces. Pakistani experts questioned how the assailants knew the movements of their target, Lt. Gen. Ahsan Salim Hayat, the corps commander of Karachi and a trusted colleague of General Musharraf. “Such attacks are unprecedented and a failure of security apparatus,” said Hasan Askari Rizvi, a Pakistani military analyst. “Somebody knew about the movement of the corps commander.”Full Story

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