Attempt to kill me during poll rally: Khaleda Zia

December 24th, 2008 - 1:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Dec 24 (IANS) Bangladesh’s two-term prime minister Khaleda Zia has alleged that an attempt was made to kill her during an election rally in Comilla district.Two militants were nabbed and a bomb was found three km from the venue of a rally she had addressed two hours earlier Tuesday.

Two officials engaged in the operation to nab the militants declined to link it with the rally, media reports said Wednesday.

Zia’s allegation came a week after Dhaka media carried a report quoting an Indian television channel of another plot to assassinate Zia’s political rival Sheikh Hasina.

“They are trying to kill me. We heard a grenade was charged into our meeting and there has been exchange of fire. All this has been done to foil the polls and to kill me,” Zia told a rally without blaming anyone, New Age newspaper reported.

She was referring to an explosion and gunfight at a rally of the alliance Tuesday afternoon at Debidwar in Comilla.

As security was beefed up for Zia and Hasina, the twin development has charged up the political scene as Bangladesh has its ninth general election Dec 29.

Workers of Zia-led Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) staged countrywide demonstrations to protest the incident.

Zia and Hasina have not blamed each other directly, but there are implicit charges levelled as is typical in poll-time rhetoric, political analysts said.

Col. Gulzzar and Lt. Col. Mohammad Sazzad Hossain of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) declined to link the recovery of grenades and arrest of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) men with security threats to BNP chief Khaleda, without investigating the incidents.

They also told The Daily Star newspaper that the incidents took place about three km from the venue of Khaleda’s rally, and two hours after Khaleda’s departure.

Zia reminded her audience that her government had banned the outfit.

“People involved in terrorism in the name of religion were arrested and duly punished. Nobody was spared,” she told the rally.

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