Day Of Uncertainty In Bangladesh



With nearly 50 people feared dead, the gunbattle at the BDR headquarters in Dhaka has come to an end after the government carried out negotiations with some of the rebellious soldiers. But now BBC is reporting the following:

The mutiny by paramilitary troops in Bangladesh has spread to towns outside the capital, Dhaka, reports say.

The spread of the mutiny was being reported even as troops in Dhaka began laying down their arms, leaving their base and releasing hostages.

Nearly 50 people are feared dead in Bangladesh after border guards staged an armed mutiny on Wednesday.

The mutiny was said to be over pay conditions. The government has offered the troops a general amnesty.

The BBC’s Mark Dummett in Dhaka says that reports are coming in that the mutiny, which erupted without warning on Wednesday morning at the headquarters of Bangladesh border force in Dhaka, has spread to other towns in the country.

There are reports of incidents from at least eight districts across the country.

Our correspondent says that there are unconfirmed reports of gunfire in the main port city of Chittagong, at Feni, on the eastern border with India, in Rajshahi in the north west, and Sylhet in the north.

A man claiming to be a BDR soldier in Chittagong said they had opened fire to prevent regular army units from entering their camp, unconfirmed reports say.

Another report said similar incidents had occurred at Cox’s Bazaar and Feni.

In Khulna in the south, border guards have reportedly blocked a road, but no shooting has taken place.

The police chief in the north-eastern Moulivibazar district told the AFP news agency that the border guards were “firing indiscriminately”.

“Their commanding officer told me that he has fled the camp.”

There are no reports of any casualties in these reported incidents.

Apparently a number of army officers were killed by the BDR during the mutiny. The situation is still fluid and very dangerous. It is unclear how the army will respond, especially if the reports of the spreading mutiny are true. Whether the civilian government can maintain control over the army remains to be seen.

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