Bangladesh mutiny toll may be 50, says minister

February 26th, 2009 - 8:06 am ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Feb 26 (Xinhua) At least 50 people may have died in the mutiny by Bangladesh border guards, the country’s Law Minister Quamrul Islam said Thursday.
Islam said he visited the headquarters of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) to observe the lay down of arms by the rebel soldiers. Home Minister Sahara Khatun was also present, he said.

“It seems that more or less 50 people were killed in the incident,” said Islam, who is also the minister for justice and parliamentary affairs.

Earlier reports said that at least three civilians and two senior army officers were killed Wednesday when mutinous Bangladesh border guards opened fire indiscriminately. Thirty people were also said to have been injured.

The soldiers staged a revolt against their commanding officers, deputed from the army, seeking higher salary and better facilities.

The soldiers laid down their arms Thursday after rounds of closed-door talks with the government.

Many army officers and their family members were held up inside their residences at the BDR headquarters after the mutineers went berserk.

“We have arranged safe exit of those who were trapped inside the BDR headquarters,” Islam said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wednesday evening announced a general amnesty to the mutineers following a meeting with 14 representatives of the rebel soldiers.

The BDR soldiers, whose primary task is guarding the country’s border areas, told the media that the army has tortured them and their basic rights have been deprived for long time.

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