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Sunday, 29 September, 2002, 13:22 GMT 14:22 UK
Bangladesh investigates blasts
Anxious relatives of the injured wait for information in Satkhira
Satkhira district has a history of political violence

Thousands of policemen and paramilitary troops in Bangladesh's south-western districts have been put on alert following bomb attacks on a movie theatre and a circus on Saturday night.


Whoever was behind the attack will be punished

AH Chowdhury, Home Minister

More than 100 people were injured in the bomb blasts in Satkhira, a district town nearly 180 kilometres (112 miles) south of the capital Dhaka.

The police have detained six people in connection with the blasts and are interrogating them.

But investigators say they are still looking for the identity of those who were behind these attacks.

The hospitals in the small district town are still crowded with people who were injured in the blasts.

Twelve critically injured patients were transferred to a military hospital in the nearby town of Jessore as their conditions deteriorated.

Hunt on

The district administration was taken by surprise by the bomb attacks on two seemingly innocent gatherings, a packed cinema hall, and a circus.

Most of the people who came to watch the cinema and the circus were from the poorer section of society.

Bangladesh's Home Minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, who flew to Satkhira to visit the scene, described the attack as pre-planned.

Mr Chowdhury said an investigation had just begun, so it was too early to comment on who might be behind the blasts.

But he said whoever was behind the attack would be punished.

A police statement said all the units of police and paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles had been put on alert in the southern districts for arresting the bombers.

Political dispute

Analysts say the blasts in Satkhira are very similar to attacks during the last year of the previous Awami League government.

Blast victims at Satkhira hospital
Most of the victims came from poor families

Nearly 100 people were killed in a series of bomb attacks on open-air functions, public meetings and on a mosque and a church.

The then Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, accused radical Muslim groups for the attacks.

However, a judicial commission formed by the present government accused Sheikh Hasina's Awami League party of masterminding the explosions.

Awami League leaders condemned the commission's report which they said was produced on the government's instructions to harass the opposition politically.

See also:

29 Sep 02 | South Asia
23 Sep 01 | South Asia
17 Jun 01 | South Asia
16 Aug 02 | Country profiles
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