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.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora