Accessibility links

Breaking News

Bangladesh Foils Coup Attempt

Brigadier General Muhammad Masud Razzaq (R) talks about what he said was a coup attempt by retired and serving officers late last month, which intelligence sources said was driven by a campaign to introduce Sharia law throughout the majority Muslim countr

Military officials in Bangladesh say they have uncovered a plot by religious extremists to overthrow the government.

Brigadier General Muhammad Masud Razzaq shared details of the attempted coup with reporters Thursday, calling it a "heinous conspiracy" to topple Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Razzaq said the coup had been planned abroad and that two retired military officers have already been arrested. A third man, Army Major Ziaul Haq, is on the run.

Razzaq said a total of 16 current and former military officers had been involved.

Bangladeshi intelligence officials say the military uncovered the coup plot last month and that the plotters planned to introduce strict Islamic Sharia law.

Prime Minister Hasina has cracked down on Islamic militant groups since taking office in early 2009. She has repeatedly warned such groups were plotting against her government.

This is not the first time Hasina has confronted military unrest. In 2009, shortly after she took office, some of the country's border guards mutinied, resulting in the deaths of more than 70 people.

Bangladesh has a history of bitter political rivalries, coups and counter-coups since gaining its independence.

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