Car Bomb Found Near Musharraf’s Residence as Pakistan Poll Looms

Pakistani police found a car packed with explosives near the residence of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, where he is being kept under house arrest.

“There was about 45 kilograms (99 pounds) of high explosive in the car along with detonators and fuses,” Inspector General Islamabad Capital Police Bani-Amin Khan said by phone from the Pakistani capital late yesterday. The car was “within the vicinity of Musharraf’s residence,” he said.

The car was parked on the road about a half kilometer (0.3 mile) from Musharraf’s residence, said another police official, Mohammad Fayyaz.

While the police didn’t say who the intended target might be, Musharraf survived at least four assassination attempts by Islamic extremists while in power.

Musharraf was arrested on April 19 after a court revoked a bail agreement on charges relating to his declaration of emergency rule in 2007. He has since been kept at his residence on the outskirts of the capital Islamabad, which has been declared a sub-jail.

Musharraf, who seized power in 1999 and became a U.S. ally against terrorism, stepped down as president in 2008 to avoid impeachment charges, and went in to self-imposed exile. He returned last month in a bid for a political comeback in May 11 elections.

Election tribunals have rejected his nomination papers from all the four constituencies he intended to contest. His lawyers said they would appeal decisions to bar him from running.

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