Bangladesh blasts investigations continue18/08/2005 - 08:24:03
Police in Bangladesh today continued interrogating detainees believed to be connected to a series of more than 100 small bomb blasts across the predominantly Muslim country that killed two people and wounded 125 others.
The home-made bombs – many packed only with sawdust and planted outside government offices or courthouses – were apparently intended to cause limited damage, authorities said.
“We are working hard and our investigation is moving positively,” said Dhaka Metropolitan police official Mohammed Mazharul. “We are adequately alert and have put necessary security measures in the capital.”
Fifty suspects were arrested yesterday hours after the near-simultaneous bombings rocked the country, the state-run news agency, Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha, reported.
A bicycle-rickshaw driver and a 10-year-old boy were killed in separate blasts, and at least 125 people were injured. Most of the wounded were believed to have suffered minor burns, the Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha said.
No claims of responsibility were made, but leaflets from a banned Islamic group – the Jumatul Mujahedin – were found at the scene of all the explosions, officials said.
The group wants to establish an Islamic state in Bangladesh, an overwhelmingly Muslim nation governed by secular laws.
In recent years, several small militant Islamic groups advocating Islamic rule have sprung up in Bangladesh, mostly in the impoverished northern and southern regions.
A number of those groups have been blamed by the government for a spate of bomb attacks, killings, robberies, extortion and harassment of villagers.
A bomb that exploded in the High Court’s car park in the capital Dhaka yesterday slightly injured two people, a police officer said. “I heard a loud bang from the car park, and there was sawdust everywhere,” said officer Mrinal Kanti Tripura.
Police later recovered a home-made bomb hidden inside a small box and cushioned with sawdust in the car park, which is used by judges, Tripura said.
Bangladesh’s media expressed concern over the attacks yesterday and demanded the government find the culprits.
“Each one of us in the country – government, opposition, or neutral – must today unite behind our common purpose to root out the terrorists and defend our democracy from this unprecedented assault,” the Daily Star newspaper said in an editorial.
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who left for China before the explosions, described the attacks as a “cowardly, conspiratorial and well-planned terrorist act”.
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