Two rockets found near Pakistani parliament | india | Hindustan Times
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Two rockets found near Pakistani parliament

The rockets were found in a patch of green across a road from parliament and main government buildings.

india Updated: Oct 05, 2006 16:49 IST

Pakistani police defused two rockets attached to mobile phones near parliament in the capital Islamabad on Thursday, the morning after a blast in a park close to President Pervez Musharraf's residence in nearby Rawalpindi.

The rockets were found in a patch of green across a six-lane road from parliament and main government buildings.

"We have recovered two rockets along with launchers," a police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "The rockets have been defused."

An intelligence official said the rockets were attached to wires and mobile phones and were pointed towards the main government buildings.

Just behind the parliament are the official residences of the president and prime minister. However, it was immediately not clear whether President Pervez Musharraf or Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz were present there.

The parliament is not in session.

Police and the army cordoned off roads leading to parliament house and investigations have started, a senior police official said.

As police recovered rockets, the state-run Pakistan television showed Musharraf appearing in a conference on the reconstruction of northern parts of the country following a devastating earthquake a year ago.

"We have detained a few people for questioning," the senior police official said.

Witnesses saw police taking away in buses scores of labourers working at a nearby construction site.

On Wednesdaynight a small explosive device exploded in a park near Musharraf's army residence in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, adjoining Islamabad.

Musharraf stays in Rawalapindi and seldom uses the presidential residence in Islamabad.

The military said the blast in the Rawalpindi park was unrelated to Musharraf or his military residence, Army House.

Musharraf, whose cooperation with the United States in its war against terrorism has put him at the top of an Al-Qaeda hit list, survived two assassination attempts in December 2003.

The Pakistani leader returned at the weekend from a three-week overseas trip, during which he launched his memoir "In the Line of Fire" and held talks with President George W Bush.

Musharraf has held onto his role as army chief since coming to power in a bloodless military coup seven years ago, and was snubbed by major democracies round the world until he was propelled to the front of the world stage in 2001 by the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Bush persuaded Musharraf to help a US-led invasion force topple the ruling Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan for harbouring Al-Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden.