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By MATTHEW PENNINGTON, Associated Press Writer

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan - Bombers set off two massive blasts near President Pervez Musharraf's motorcade on Thursday, killing themselves and 12 people and smashing the windshield of the presidential limousine in the second assassination attempt against Musharraf in two weeks.

The president was unhurt, but at least 46 other people were wounded.

The blasts came just a day after Musharraf agreed to step down as army chief by the end of 2004.

"It was an assassination attempt on the president," said Gen. Shaukat Sultan, the chief army spokesman. "It was a suicide attack."

Officials said two suicide attackers driving pickup trucks, each loaded with 45-65 pounds of explosive, tried to ram the president's motorcade on a main road in Rawalpindi, a bustling city near the capital, Islamabad. Witnesses reported seeing body parts, shattered cars and broken glass along the route.

The attack prompted serious new concern over his security. It happened a few hundred yards from where would-be assassins detonated a huge bomb on Dec. 14 that also barely missed the president.

Musharraf was apparently saved on that occasion by high-tech jamming devices in his motorcade that delayed the detonation long enough for him to pass by safely.

Thursday's blasts came just 10 days ahead of a summit of South Asian leaders to be held in Islamabad, about 10 miles away.

Abdur Rauf Chaudry, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said 14 people died in Thursday's bombings, including two policemen and two suicide bombers. Some 46 people were injured.

Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said the windshield on Musharraf's armored limousine was broken, and a car at the end of his motorcade was severely damaged.

Ahmed said Musharraf had returned to Army House, the heavily fortified official residence of the army chief in Rawalpindi. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali called an emergency meeting of the Cabinet.

The road where the attack occurred is one used nearly every day by Musharraf as he travels from his residence to his presidential offices. Rawalpindi is home to the army headquarters and until recently was regarded as one of the most secure cities in the country.

"It appears that an organized group is chasing the president. The security system has absolutely collapsed," ruling party Sen. Syed Mushahid Hussain told the private GEO television network. He said the six South Asian leaders — including the prime minister of Pakistan's archrival India — due to attend the Jan. 4-6 summit in Islamabad "might reconsider their plans to come here."

Shortly after the attack, frantic family members of those killed and injured gathered outside nearby Rawalpindi Central Hospital, many in tears.

"I saw three people very badly injured," said Sajid Bashir, 25, an employee at one of the gas stations where the attack occurred. "It was chaos."

Musharraf, who has been targeted in at least three suicide attacks since he took power in a bloodless coup in 1999, angered many militant groups after he threw his support behind the U.S.-backed war in neighboring Afghanistan (news - web sites) following the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Pakistan had been a key supporter of Afghanistan's hardline Taliban regime.

The latest attack came a day after Musharraf agreed to step down as army chief by the end of 2004, ending a political stalemate that had paralyzed Parliament and stalled this nation's return to democracy.

Under the agreement reached with a coalition of hardline Islamic parties, Musharraf would remain as president but give up the army post. Musharraf also agreed to scale back several extraordinary powers he had decreed himself after taking power.

In a previous assassination attempt last April, a bomb hidden in a car failed to detonate as the president's car passed on a road in the southern port city of Karachi. Three Islamic militants were convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison for that attack.

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swear to God if we hadnt got involved in this Taliban shit with the Americans this would have had never happened....and what do we get for co-op with the Americans ? harrassment and singling out of Pakis at American and Euro airports...Taliban was Americas problem...not ours...should have said let them deal it with themselves urgh !!
 

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husain_14 said:
swear to God if we hadnt got involved in this Taliban shit with the Americans this would have had never happened....and what do we get for co-op with the Americans ? harrassment and singling out of Pakis at American and Euro airports...Taliban was Americas problem...not ours...should have said let them deal it with themselves urgh !!
I knew it, I was sure that they will have to revenge, and now thanks to Mosharaf who took Pakistan for new challenge.
He should disappeared..
 

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come on man get real...wasnt it your with us or against us ? had we said no we would have had been attacked as well coz we were one of the 3 countries that had supported the taliban regime....
 

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fangul said:
:rollani:
Well, you never know...If Pakistan government's official stand about cooperating with USA would've been "f*ck off, you dirty yanks" instead of "´Yes, sir.We'll do anything to please you!"...
maybe Pakistan would have been the next target instead of Iraq.Bush works in mysterious (and illogical) ways...
 
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