3 Sep 2008

Pakistani PM survives assassination attempt

10:37 pm on 3 September 2008

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has survived an assassination attempt, officials say.

Two bullets from an unidentified gunman hit Mr Gilani's car as he was travelling just outside the capital Islamabad on Wednesday, his press secretary told the BBC.

Mr Gilani was travelling in a bullet-proof car in a convoy between Islamabad and the nearby city of Rawalpindi. Television pictures indicated that the bullets hit the windows of the driver's door.

Officials say another car in the convoy was also hit by several bullets. There are no reports of injuries.

Mr Gilani was returning from the city of Lahore where he had been canvassing support for Asif Zardari, Ms Bhutto's widower, ahead of presidential elections on Saturday.

Mr Gilani's government is grappling with a growing threat from militants in the country.

Mr Gilani is a senior member of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto's party. She was killed in a suicide gun and bomb attack last December while campaigning for a general election.

The government said al Qaeda-linked militants killed her.

Mrs Bhutto's party went on to win the election in February and Mr Gilani became prime minister of a coalition government.