Pak PM survives assassination attempt
Friday, 05 September 2008

Officials say leader unhurt after shots fired at car


The Pakistani prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, survived an assassination attempt today, officials said.

Shots were fired at Gilani's car in the capital, Islamabad, but he was not inside. It was going to the airport to collect him.

The prime minister's press secretary, Zahid Bashir, said unknown assailants fired "multiple sniper shots" in a "murder attempt".
Two bullets hit the front window on the driver's side of the black Mercedes limousine.
"The driver reached Islamabad airport, but the prime minister and his staff were not travelling in the vehicles," said the interior minister, Kamal Shah.
A security official told Associated Press the shots were fired from a hill.
State-run television showed the Mercedes with the two bullet marks on the driver's window. The glass was cracked but unbroken.
"The prime minister is fine ... he is back in Islamabad at the PM house," the information minister, Sherry Rehman, told Dawn News.
The former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at an election rally in Rawalpindi in December.
The country has recently been beset by violence from Islamist extremists, and the government has been in turmoil.
A car carrying Lynne Tracy, the leading US diplomat in Pakistan's turbulent north-west, came under fire as she travelled to her office in Peshawar last week. No one was hurt.
Pervez Musharraf - a longtime US ally in the "war on terror" - resigned as president last month to avoid attempts to impeach him.
Yesterday, Pakistani prosecutors said they would press ahead with corruption charges against Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister and leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N who recently took his party out of the ruling coalition with the Pakistan People's party (PPP).
Bhutto's widower, Asif Ali Zadari, now heads the PPP and is expected to be elected as the new president by parliament on Saturday.
The ruling coalition fell apart over whether to reinstate supreme court judges Musharraf had sacked.
Sharif wanted them reappointed but Zardari did not, fearing they would reopen corruption investigations into his past dealings.

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