Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Officers' mass grave found after Dhaka mutiny

Latest update : 2009-02-28

A mass grave of at least 38 murdered officers of the Bangladesh Rifles was found on Friday after the surrender of mutineer soldiers. Another 28 bodies had already been found, with nearly 200 fleeing soldiers arrested.

AFP - Security forces in Bangladesh on Friday uncovered at least 38 bodies of murdered army officers in one grave as the death toll following a deadly mutiny in the capital rose.
  
Soldiers and sniffer dogs scoured the grounds of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) compound in the capital Dhaka and dug up 38 bodies in one grave, rescue team chief Sheikh Mizanur Rahman said.
  
"At least 15 bodies can be seen. We need special equipment to get them out because they are badly decomposed," he said.
  
A joint funeral was to be held once all bodies had been recovered, and a national day of mourning on Sunday was also announced.
  
Another 28 bodies had already been found, including some that had been pulled from sewers and manholes.
  
The fate of around 100 army officers taken hostage by the mutineering guards remained unclear, however, after the rank-and-file troops surrendered and returned to barracks late Thursday.
  
"We have arrested more than 200 Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) troops who fled their barracks in civilian dress. We were given orders to arrest the fleeing mutineers," a spokesman for the Rapid Action Battalion, Commander Abul Kalam Azad, told AFP.
  
He said checkpoints had been set up at all routes leading out of the capital Dhaka and surrounding the BDR barracks, with four suspected mutineers arrested in the northern city of Bogra.
  
"We are searching buses and trucks for any other rebel troops," he added.
  
The BDR guards, who were demanding better pay and conditions, surrendered after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina warned they were on a "suicidal" path that could end only in bloodshed.
  
The premier visited some of the victims -- both military personnel and their families -- in hospital Friday and warned that those responsible for the deaths and injuries would face serious consequences.
  
Despite promising an amnesty a day earlier for troops who surrendered, she said those who had killed would not get off lightly.
  
"These senior military personnel have been killed in a planned and calculated manner. It's a grisly slaughter. We will punish these criminals," cabinet minister Jahangir Kabir Nanak told reporters.
  
As calm returned Friday to Dhaka, one regular army officer held hostage by the guards told AFP of his escape as his captors opened fire indiscriminately.
  
"It was cold-blooded murder," Syed M. Kamruzzaman said, adding that BDR chief Major General Shakil Ahmed was gunned down in front of him. Officials would not confirm Ahmed's death.
  
"They hurled abuse at us and gunned down whoever they wanted. I was shot at seven times and was lucky to get out alive."
  
Tensions in the BDR had been simmering for months but erupted into violence early Wednesday when senior officers rejected appeals for more pay, subsidised food and holidays.
  
It then petered out, however, after Sheikh Hasina -- who took office only two months ago, although she had served as premier once before -- appeared on national television and threatened to put down the mutiny by force.
  
The violence was the first major crisis she has faced since her landslide election victory on December 29 ended two years of army-backed rule.
  
Manzoor Hasan, the director of BRAC University's Institute of Governance Studies in Dhaka, told AFP there were a "few worrying hours" where the prime minister appeared to be losing control.
  
"It was a bit of a baptism by fire for her. It was a critical test but I think in the end she tackled it competently," he said.
  
The revolt has highlighted the frustrations felt by many in impoverished Bangladesh, which has been hit by high food prices, a slowing economy and rampant corruption.
  
Bangladesh has had a history of political violence, coups and counter-coups since winning independence from Pakistan in 1971.

Date created : 2009-02-27

COMMENT(S)