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Musharraf escort chopper crashes

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Technical problem caused crash, APP quotes Maj. Gen. Arshad as saying
  • Officials: Presidential press secretary among injured; four security officers killed
  • Helicopter crashes in Pakistan-held Kashmir
  • Musharraf reached his destination safely, officials say
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From Syed Mohsin Naqvi
CNN
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LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- A Pakistan military helicopter that was escorting Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, crashed in Pakistan-held Kashmir Monday, killing at least four people, according to Pakistan Army and intelligence sources.

Crowds gather round the wreckage of the crashed helicopter.

Musharraf was not on board the helicopter, and he arrived safely at his destination, the officials said. Along with the four security officers who died, the presidential press secretary, Rashid Qureshi, and several other people were seriously injured, the officials said.

A technical problem caused the crash, Pakistan's official news agency APP quoted Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad as saying.

Musharraf was on his way to visit an area damaged by the deadly October 8, 2005, earthquake, on its second anniversary.

The helicopter, an Army MI 17, crashed in Neelam Valley, in the northern section of Kashmir, the officials said.

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It comes two days after Musharraf won an election boycotted by much of the opposition, and while the Supreme Court considers the eligibility of his bid while still army chief.

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Security was tight in Muzaffarabad Monday morning, restricting residents' movement around the city, apparently in anticipation of a VIP visitor's arrival, The Associated Press reported. Musharraf was in the city, AP cited military officials as later saying. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2007 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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