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Last Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005, 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK
Dhaka outlaws third Islamic group
By Waliur Rahman
BBC News, Dhaka

Sheikh Hasina
A failed plot to kill former PM Sheikh Hasina brought Huji into the limelight
The government of Bangladesh has banned another Islamic group for being what it calls a "terrorist" organisation.

A statement issued by the Home Ministry said all activities of the group - Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami - were affected by the order.

The group is the third Islamic party to be banned.

The government action came after a series of bombings in Bangladesh in recent months, which killed at least four people and injured many others.

Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, which is better known as Huji, is the third Islamic group banned by the authorities in Bangladesh this year.

In February, two other groups - Jama'atul Mujahideen and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh - were banned.

Strong position

The Jama'atul Mujahideen group was blamed for near-simultaneous bombings in August, when nearly 500 devices went off across the country, killing two people and injuring more than 100 others.

Bangladeshi policemen
Investigators believed that Huji was behind the two recent bomb attacks

Two more people were killed earlier this month as suspected Islamic militants threw bombs in courthouses in three towns.

The banning of the Huji came after police arrested its alleged chief, Mufti Abdul Hannan, who once fought against Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

The group came into the limelight after a plot to kill Bangladesh's former prime minister Sheikh Hasina was foiled about five years ago.

Investigators believed that Huji was also behind the two recent bomb attacks in the country.

The Home Ministry alleges that Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami is a self-confessed "terrorist group".

The ministry said the banning is a reflection of the government's strong position against all forms of terrorism.

The banning of the Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami followed its proscription in Britain.

The group was among 15 international organisations UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke named in parliament earlier this month. He is seeking to ban them.

The Home Office says the main aim of Huji is the creation of an Islamic regime in Bangladesh modelled on the former Taleban regime in Afghanistan.

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