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News ID: 636
Asia » Asia
Publish Date: 15:11 - 01 April 2013
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 premises.

"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 1971.

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.

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