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Would-Be Assassin of Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf Executed

 / Updated 

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A militant who tried to kill Pakistan's president in 2003 was executed by hanging early Wednesday, an official told NBC News. Niaz Mohammad had been on death row for an assassination attempt targeting military ruler General Pervez Musharraf in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

An official at the Peshawar Central Prison, who requested anonymity, said Mohammad was flown to the city from a high-security prison in the Haripur region late Tuesday before being put to death at 6 a.m. local time Wednesday. Mohammad was convicted alongside Taliban commander Adnan Rasheed, who escaped prison in an April 2012 jailbreak.

Musharraf took power in a 1999 coup and served until 2008, when he was forced to step down as his popularity plummeted. He later went into self-imposed exile.

The execution is the latest since Pakistan lifted a moratorium on the death penalty after militants stormed a military-run school in Peshawar and gunned down 148 people, most of them children, on December 16. Rights groups believe Pakistan has about 8,000 prisoners on death row, more than 500 of them for terrorist offences, according to Reuters.

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