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Pakistan Army Headquarters Burns

October 10, 2001

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ Fire tore through Pakistan’s army headquarters early Wednesday, burning for more than five hours before it was brought under control, fire officials said. The president’s spokesman attributed it to ``short-circuiting.″

The fire broke out shortly after 4 a.m. at the Pakistani army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, just outside the capital Islamabad, said Maj. Gen. Rashid Quereshi, chief spokesman of Pakistan’s army and its leader, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

No injuries were reported, and the extent of the damage was not immediately clear, according to Islamabad fire chief Mohammed Yaqoob. He said the fire was brought under control shortly after 9:30 a.m.

Quereshi said the fire, which he said began ``as a result of short-circuiting,″ started in a stationery store within the headquarters complex and spread through the wooden structure into other buildings.

Hundreds of army officers are based in the headquarters.

The fire came two days after Musharraf reshuffled his army leadership in an apparent attempt to strengthen his power base after deciding to support the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism in neighboring Afghanistan.

An investigation of the fire’s cause is under way, Quereshi said.

Update hourly