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Reports:  Former Bangladeshi PM to go into Exile


Bangladeshi news reports say former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has agreed to go into exile following pressure from the country's military-backed interim government.

The reports published on Monday quote unnamed officials as saying that Ms. Zia agreed to leave the country on the condition that her family members be allowed to go with her.

The reports say she and her family are expected to go to Saudi Arabia.

News of her agreement to leave followed the release from custody of her younger son, Arafat Rahman. The 36-year-old was arrested Monday in Dhaka and questioned by police as part of an anti-corruption crackdown. Any possible charges against him have not been made public.

Khaleda Zia has been under virtual confinement at her residence.

About 160 politicians, business leaders and former government officials from both of Bangladesh's main parties have been detained by authorities in a widespread crackdown on graft.

Ms. Zia's elder son and political heir, Tareque Rahman, was picked up by police last month and charged with extortion.

The interim government has vowed to root out corruption from politics before announcing a new date for elections -- postponed earlier this year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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