News

Second Mass Grave Found in Bangladesh

A second mass grave has been unearthed at the headquarters of the mutinous paramilitary border guards in the Bangladeshi capital. More than 75 bodies have been found, mostly senior military personnel, but dozens more officers have not been accounted for. Meanwhile, the head of the Bangladesh army is pledging support for the two-month-old civilian government amid fears soldiers will launch reprisal strikes for the slaying of so many of their colleagues and members of their families.

Amid a three-day period of national mourning, which began Friday, Bangladesh is still coming to grips with the extent of this week's massacre at the Dhaka headquarters of the paramilitary border guards.

Uniformed bodies of army officers, shot and bayoneted, continue to be found in mass graves at the compound of the force they commanded, the Bangladesh Rifles, known as the BDR.

Seeking to allay fears that a grieving and angry army could seek revenge against the mutinous paramilitaries, the army chief, General Moeen Ahmed, met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He is said to have pledged the military's loyalty to the civilian government and urged the nation to stay calm.

The prime minister is calling the uprising a well-planned conspiracy.

She says, at this point, all BDR members are presumed guilty and the government will find out who is responsible for the killings.

In an effort to end the two-day mutiny, the prime minister initially promised amnesty for the rebels. But the army's second-in-command, Lieutenant General Mohammad Abdul Mubin, says that is not going to happen.

The general declares the troops who took part in what he calls "barbaric and grisly acts" cannot be pardoned and will not be pardoned.

For a second day along the 4,000 kilometer long border with India, the BDR guards were not observed at their posts. Analysts and Indian media say it is unclear whether they are inside the barracks or have fled.

Several hundred soldiers of the Bangladesh Rifles, who either escaped from the scene of the carnage in Dhaka or abandoned their posts across the country, have been detained.

Rebels of the paramilitary force claimed they took action during the uprising to protest their poor pay and mistreatment by their commanders, who come from the army.

Bangladesh, since winning independence in a 1971 war with Pakistan, has suffered numerous military takeovers and coup attempts.

The prime minister's father, Sheikh Mujibuy Rahman, who was the country's first head of state, was killed in a 1975 military coup.

Ms. Hasina, previously prime minister for five years until 2001, regained power in democratic elections two months ago, ending a period of emergency rule by a military-backed government.


Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs