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Pakistan’s top military academy attacked

ISLAMABAD - Unidentified assailants rained rockets on Pakistan’s elite military academy yesterday morning, in an unusual burst of violence near the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed in May.

Nine rockets were fired from a hilltop overlooking Abbottabad, a garrison town 35 miles north of Islamabad, said Khalid Khan Umarzai, the commissioner of the Abbottabad division.

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Three rockets hit the wall of the Pakistan Military Academy, Pakistan’s equivalent of West Point.

“Some exploded, some did not,’’ Umarzai said. “There was no loss of life.’’

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No group claimed responsibility, and the military said it had dispatched investigators.

“I don’t know who could be involved because I don’t remember any previous incident like this’’ close to the academy, said Athar Abbas, an army spokesman.

Abbottabad gained global attention last May as the scene of the dramatic Navy SEAL raid that killed bin Laden, and plunged American relations with Pakistan into turmoil.

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The town is the birthplace of Aslam Awan, a Pakistani national killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan on Jan. 10. US officials described Awan, who studied in Britain, as a senior external operations planner for Al Qaeda. Umar Patek, an Indonesian militant accused of involvement in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, was arrested in Abbottabad by Pakistani authorities in January 2011. The US government had offered a $1 million reward for Patek’s capture.

But the town had otherwise escaped the militant bloodshed that has plagued Pakistan in recent years. It has suffered no suicide bombings and few shootings.

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