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Feb 25,2009
Insurrection erupts in Bangladesh
by UPI

DHAKA, Bangladesh - A major gun battle erupted in Bangladesh's capital Wednesday between government troops and soldiers apparently bent on revolt, media in the region reported.

More than 300 Bangladesh Rifles soldiers have rebelled against their senior officers, Breaking News Online reported. More than 20 people were feared dead in the fighting, including BDR Maj. Gen. Shakeel Ahmed, and more than 100 were reported injured, the Bhubaneswar-based news network said. However, another news agency, Nhatky in India, said that while police officials said at least 20 people had been killed in the gunbattle, Ahmed's death was not confirmed.

More troops had been rushed to the BDR barrack in an attempt to restore order. The BDR headquarters is located in the Pilkhana area of Dhaka.

Sources told Breaking News Online the soldiers had been planning the mutiny for more than a month.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called an emergency meeting to review the situation, the Web site said.

Nhatky reported officials said the army was called out to put down the rebellion while witnesses reported seeing military convoys converging on the scene and hovering of air force helicopters over the sky of the Pilkhana barracks.

Smoke was rising from the complex, the news agency said.

"The army troops are now chalking out plans to enter into the barracks where heavy exchanges of gunshots were still underway," an army source told Nhatky.

Officials inside the BDR Headquarters could not be reached, the agency said.

Since obtaining its independence from Pakistan in 1971, Bangladesh has had a history of coups and counter-coups.

© 2009 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

1151 times read

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