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Pak court acquits man charged with suicide attack

world Updated: Dec 15, 2010 21:00 IST

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has acquitted a man charged with involvement in a 2008 suicide attack in the federal capital that killed 19 people and injured nearly 30 others.

The Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court of Judge Malik Mohammad Akram Awan acquitted Qari Ilyas on Tuesday due to the prosecution's failure to produce evidence linking him to the attack.

Ilyas was charged with involvement in the suicide attack near Islamabad's Melody Market on July 6, 2008.

The bomber blew himself up near a police picket after the conclusion of a meeting to mark the first anniversary of the storming of the radical Lal Masjid by the army.

Most of those who died in the attack were policemen.

Reports said two key prosecution witnesses had refused to testify against Ilyas.

Ilyas and eight other men were earlier absolved of charges of plotting another suicide attack that killed the Pakistan Army's surgeon general in February 2008.

Police had said Ilyas, a resident of Chakwal in Punjab, was a hardened militant and had been seen directing the suicide bomber just before the attack near Melody Market in July 2008.