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Apr 17,2007
Former Bangladesh PM may go into exile
by UPI

DHAKA, Bangladesh - Former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia may accept exile under a deal with the largely Muslim country's military-backed interim government.

The Daily Star reported Tuesday that Khaleda agreed to leave the country, possibly for Saudi Arabia, on condition her two sons are released and allowed to join her.

"Her younger son Arafat Rahman will be going with her and the elder son Tarique Rahman will join them later on," the newspaper reported, quoting "a highly placed source in the government." The source said Khaleda will leave for Saudi Arabia in a couple of days.

Bangladesh was placed under a state of emergency on Jan. 11 following widespread rioting primarily involving supporters of Khaleda's ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party and the opposition Awami League, led by Sheikh Hasina, daughter of the country's founder. Hasina, who was charged with murder last week while she was in the Untied States on a private visit, has vowed to return home but the Star report said she would not be let in.

A BBC report said Arafat Rahman, who was not involved in politics, was taken by authorities Monday but has since been released. The older son, Tarique Rahman, was arrested last month under the government's anti-corruption drive.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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