ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – A military court convicted six air force personnel in an assassination attempt against Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf (search), sentencing four to death and two to life in prison, an air force spokesman said Wednesday.
The six men were arrested in connection with the attack on Musharraf's motorcade near Islamabad on Dec. 14, 2003.
"Four junior employees of Pakistan (search) air force have been sentenced to death and two to life in prison," Sarfraz Ahmad told The Associated Press.
He declined to identify them or provide details on their specific roles within the air force beyond saying they were low-ranking personnel.
Al Qaeda-backed assassins have tried at least three times to target Musharraf, a key U.S. ally in the war on terror who's openness to the Jewish state and efforts to tackle the root causes of terrorism has outraged Muslim hard-liners in Pakistan.
In the Dec. 14 attack, he escaped unhurt when militants tried to blow up his motorcade on a road in Rawalpindi (search), a garrison city near the capital, Islamabad.
The general was again targeted the same month but this time too he survived, although 16 people — mainly his boduguards — died in the attack.
Besides the six linked to the first attack, Pakistan arrested several army and air force personnel and Islamic militants in connection with both failed assassinations. Officials have said none of those arrested was an officer.
So far, military courts have sentenced several to death several people, and only one of them has been executed.
The latest military court decision came weeks after a Pakistani military court sentenced to death five men — a soldier and four civilians — for their roles in a Dec. 25 plot to kill Musharraf.