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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 December 2005, 16:43 GMT
Press alarm at Bangladesh bombings
Security personnel inspect the wreckage after a bomb exploded in Gaizipur
The bombers have targeted courts

Newspapers in Bangladesh have warned the country's political parties to stop trying to gain political advantage and to work together after a spate of bombings blamed on Islamic militants hit two major cities this week.

Commentators call for national unity and a determined effort to defeat the perpetrators of the attacks in Chittagong and Gazipur, allegedly carried out by the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen group as part of a plan to establish Islamic law in Bangladesh.

However one daily accuses the opposition Awami League of being in cahoots with the bombers.

"One of the reasons that these extremists have been able to sprout in our soil, apart from the socio-economic factor, is the rabid discord between the two major political parties," says a commentator in Dhaka's The Daily Star.

Time for petty partisan politics is over. The nation is at stake
Commentator in The Daily Star

In his piece headlined "Are We Going The Afghan Way?", General Shahedul Anam Khanmay says a minority would like to see the country take the path of the Taleban while many more "dread that that is where we are heading".

"Our worst fears may come to pass if we do not rise above partisan politics and work to address the scourge in unison," he warns. "Time for blame game is over. Time for petty partisan politics is over. The nation is at stake."


An editorial in The Bangladesh Observer worries that there are not only divisions between the parties, but also within the ruling party.

"Despite the angry rhetoric of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, her party seems to be divided about the Islamic militants who are killing people indiscriminately and is promising more of the same," says the editorial headlined "A Government Paralysed".

We are faced with a full-fledged insurgency who want take the country back to the Middle Ages
The Bangladesh Observer

Amidst accusations that the opposition Awami League was responsible for the blasts and was seeking to split the governing coalition, "the cacophony leaves the nation wondering where all this will lead to."

"Bangladesh is among the poorest countries of the world and lately has been known as the world's most corrupt as well. As if all this was not enough, we are faced with a full-fledged insurgency who want to turn the country upside down and take it back to the Middle Ages," the editorial continues.

Concluding, it says there are reports that "police cannot take any steps against militants because of political pressure".

"This must stop if the government is to convince the nation that it means business."

Intelligence failures

The Bengali-languageDainik Inqilab reports that the "common people are upset with the failure of the intelligence agencies - yet again".

"One explosives expert said the current situation could have been avoided had the intelligence agencies taken lessons from previous attacks like the 21 August grenade attack" in 2004.

The Bengali Dainik Janakantha says that many judges "will be compelled to resign from their posts if the government does not provide them with adequate security".

"Satisfactory security measures were not taken despite repeated requests to the government to protect their lives."

Awami League reaping political benefits from terrorist acts
Dainik Sanrgam

"Who are the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen?," asks a daily published by the fundamentalist Jammat-i-Islami party, Dainik Sanrgam.

"Are they really a pro-Islamic force? Do they really want to establish Islamic laws in the country or are they proceeding with a plan to turn Bangladesh into a failed state?"

The daily points the finger at the Awami League, saying it is "reaping political benefits from the terrorist acts".

"The present economic situation and standard of living are not conducive to anti-government agitation. So the opposition is trying backdoor moves and the bombers are its vanguard," says the paper.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.

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