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Pakistan court orders Musharraf arrest

A Pakistani court ordered the arrest of former president Pervez Musharraf in one of three cases dating back to his 1999-2008 period in office, officials said.

ISLAMABAD // A Pakistani court ordered the arrest of former president Pervez Musharraf in one of three cases dating back to his 1999-2008 period in office, officials said.

The retired general immediately left the court premises in Islamabad, driving away in a jeep escorted by his bodyguards to an unknown location. It was not immediately clear if or when he would be arrested.

A spokesman for Musharraf's All Pakistan Muslim League said that his supporters had been taken aback by the arrest order, after the same court last week granted him bail.

The will appeal the decision.

"We were quite sure that the judge would extend the bail, but it came to our surprise when the judge said bail was dismissed and he should be arrested," APML spokesman Muhammad Amjad told AFP.

Mr Musharraf returned to Pakistan on March 24 after four years in self-imposed exile in Dubai, and is accused over the 2007 killing of Benazir Bhutto, the 2006 death of a Baluch rebel leader and for sacking judges in 2007.

He has been in and out of courts in recent weeks, extending his bail in connection with all three cases, but today a court in Islamabad cancelled his bail over the 2007 sacking of judges.

"The judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui ordered that the interim bail is dismissed," Mr Musharraf's defence lawyer Qamar Afzal said.

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