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Former Bangladeshi PM Vows to Return to Country


Former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina says she will return to her country despite a ban by the military-backed interim government.

Ms. Hasina said in an interview with British radio Thursday that she plans to arrive in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, on Monday.

Bangladeshi media report that officials from the country's Interior Ministry have asked airlines not to carry the former prime minister if she attempts to reenter the country.

The government has also placed security and immigration officials on alert.

Ms. Hasina has been charged with extortion and involvement in the murder of four political activists. She has strongly denied the allegations.

On Tuesday, her political rival, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia reportedly agreed to go into exile in Saudi Arabia with her family.

The military-backed interim government has pressured the two political leaders to leave Bangladesh as part of its campaign to rid the country of political corruption.

Ms. Zia and Ms. Hasina have dominated Bangladeshi politics for years, having alternatively served as prime minister since 1991. Both have been blamed for widespread corruption and chaos while in office.

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

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