TEHRAN, YJC. -- Bangladeshi officials say gunmen have targeted the country’s former prime minister’s political office in a shooting, which took place an hour after a general strike was announced by the opposition leader.
The incident took place on Sunday in the
Gulshan neighborhood of the capital, Dhaka, while Khaleda Zia, a former
premier who is now the chairman of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party
(BNP) and the leader of an 18-party opposition coalition, was inside the
"The youths came by two motorbikes, suddenly stopped in
front of the opposition leaders office, fired their guns thrice and left
the place quickly," said the press officer of the opposition leader
Maruf Kamal Khan.
There have been no reports of casualties and a probe into the shooting has been launched by police.
The attack came almost an hour after the opposition declared a
nationwide strike for Tuesday in protest against the recent deadly
violence in northern Chapai Nawabganja and Sirajganj districts.
The violence was initiated soon after the Bangladesh International
Crimes Tribunal sentenced last month Delwar Hossain Sayedee, the
vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami Party, to death for committing
crimes during the country’s war of independence against Pakistan in
Rights groups say the court’s legal procedures fall short of
international standards and the tribunal has been accused of targeting
only opposition figures with trumped-up charges, allegations that the
government has denied.
The opposition party has condemned the unrest and accused the
government for completely failing to restore order and ensure the
security of its citizens.
"These (shootings) are the reflection of the government's failure to
ensure [the] citizens' safety, including a former prime minister, and
restore order. These are the indications of danger," said acting general
secretary of the BNP Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Bangladeshi police arrested on March 11 at least 100 activists and
some senior leaders, including a leader of the country's main opposition
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, after a
protest was held in the capital. Reports say that authorities released
Alamgir on Tuesday afternoon.
On March 2, police fired dozens of shots at the supporters of the
Jamaat-e-Islami Party, who had gathered in Chittagong district,
southeast of the capital, Dhaka, killing three of them.
On the same day, another young protester was also shot dead after
security forces opened fire to disperse demonstrators in Nilphamari
district, northwest of Dhaka.