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Taliban Vows to 'Slaughter' Ex-Leader Pervez Musharraf's Lawyers

Image: Pervez Musharraf's lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasuri
Pervez Musharraf's lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasuri, center, makes a victory sign alongside supporters after a hearing in Islamabad on Feb. 18.Metin Aktas / Anadolu via Getty, file

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Lawyers representing the Pakistan's former military ruler received death threats from the Taliban, a court heard on Wednesday.

"You will be slaughtered if you do not disassociate yourself with [Pervez] Musharraf's case" the note said, according to defense lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasuri, who read the letter to the three-member special court in Islamabad. Musharraf is charged with treason.

The note was signed by insurgents based in Waziristan, Kasuri added.

The lawless tribal area is a stronghold for the Pakistani Taliban. The group has been been blamed for the deaths of at least 40,000 civilians and 5,000 troops during its decade battling against the country's government.

On Saturday, NBC News reported that a long-awaited ground offensive to drive Taliban insurgents out Waziristan is expected within weeks in the wake hush-hush visits by top U.S. officials.

Image: Pervez Musharraf's lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasuri
Pervez Musharraf's lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasuri, center, makes a victory sign alongside supporters after a hearing in Islamabad on Feb. 18.Metin Aktas / Anadolu via Getty, file

Following Monday’s attack on a court complex in Pakistan’s capital that killed 11 people, including a judge, Musharraf's legal team have also expressed serious concerns about security.

A previously unknown group calling itself Ahrar-ul-Hind claimed responsibility for that attack.

Musharraf’s hearings have been postponed four times due to concerns about security and amid claims of poor health. If he is found guilty, Musharraf could be executed.

The retired four-star general has again petitioned the court to be allowed to travel to the United States to seek treatment for his heart condition. A previous request was rejected in January.

Henry Austin reported from London. Reuters contributed to this report.

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