updated 1/15/2008 6:24:23 AM ET 2008-01-15T11:24:23

An anti-terrorism court sentenced three Muslim militants to life in prison on Tuesday for attempting to kill President Pervez Musharraf in 2002, a state prosecutor said.

The court found the three men guilty of plotting to kill Musharraf by setting off a car bomb as his convoy passed in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi.

However, the car did not explode because the remote control device used to detonate it malfunctioned, a judge at the Karachi's anti-terrorism court said, according to state prosecutor Naimat Randhawa.

It was not clear whether the men planned to appeal.

The three men were from the outlawed Harkatul Mujahideen Al-Almi militant group, police at the time said.

The group has been accused of other attacks in Karachi, including a 2002 bombing at the U.S. consulate that killed 14 people.

Musharraf, a key U.S. ally in the war on terror, has survived at least three attempts on his life since he seized power in a military coup eight years ago. The 2002 failed car bombing in Karachi was the first.

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