Musharraf assassination plotter captured in Pakistani raid on Taliban

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 10:54pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 10:54pm

Pakistani security forces captured a key Taliban commander linked to a 2003 assassination attempt on former president Pervez Musharraf, officials said yesterday, as a US drone strike killed 15 militants near the country's border with Afghanistan.

Adnan Rashid, a former air force officer, was arrested during a raid last Friday in the lawless northwestern tribal region, following a tip from area sources, intelligence officials said.

The troops raided a home in the town of Shakai in the South Waziristan region bordering Afghanistan. Three associates of Rashid were also captured, and were being questioning at an undisclosed location, the officials said.

Rashid was hiding at the home after fleeing from North Waziristan, where the military in June launched a long-awaited operation against militants, the officials said.

The Pakistani army has not confirmed the arrest, which marks the first major capture in the operation.

In 2003, a suicide bomber tried to ram Musharraf's vehicle near Islamabad. Rashid was later convicted over the attack and imprisoned, but escaped during a jail break orchestrated by the Pakistani Taliban in 2012.

The officials said Rashid also was involved in several other terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

Also yesterday, a United States drone fired four missiles at a militant-hideout in the town of Datta Khel in North Waziristan, killing at least 15 militants, Pakistani officials said. The identities and nationalities of the dead were not immediately known.