Pakistan's Musharraf arrested after escape from court

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ISLAMABAD -- Police arrested former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf overnight at his home in the capital, where he had holed up following a dramatic escape from court to avoid being detained, officials said Friday.

Musharraf fled Islamabad High Court in a speeding vehicle Thursday morning after a judge rejected his bail and ordered his arrest in connection with a case involving his decision to fire senior judges while in power. It was a new low in Musharraf's troubled return from self-imposed exile last month to make a political comeback in the upcoming parliamentary election.

Police arrested Musharraf overnight and presented him before a judge at Islamabad District Court this morning, police officer Mohammed Khalid said. Local TV footage showed Musharraf entering district court in Islamabad amid a heavy security detachment of police and paramilitary soldiers.

The district court judge instructed police to keep Musharraf in their custody for two days and then present him before an anti-terrorism court, said one of his lawyers, Malik Qamar Afzal.

It's unclear if he will be held at his heavily fortified home on the outskirts of Islamabad or somewhere else.

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Musharraf's legal team has said they will challenge the arrest order in the Supreme Court Friday.

Musharraf seized power in a coup in 1999 and spent nearly a decade in power before being forced to step down in 2008. He returned last month after four years in self-imposed exile in London and Dubai despite legal challenges and Taliban death threats.

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