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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 April 2007, 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK
Bangladesh ex-PM's return blocked
Sheikh Hasina in a file photo from December 2005
Sheikh Hasina says she is determined to return
Bangladesh's ex-Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been prevented from boarding a flight home from London after the Dhaka government barred her return.

The military-backed interim government has asked all international airlines not to carry her.

It says she will be arrested over the deaths of four protesters during a riot last October if she returns home.

Sheikh Hasina has vowed to return to Bangladesh to clear her name and participate in elections.

Speaking on leaving Heathrow airport in London, Sheikh Hasina said the Bangladeshi authorities had sent a letter to British Airways, telling them not to carry her or they would not be allowed to land in Dhaka.

"I am ready to go to jail if necessary but I want to go back to my country," she said, adding that she would now consider her next moves.

Sheikh Hasina, who leads the opposition Awami League, left Bangladesh in late March, a few weeks after the interim government declared a state of emergency.

'Minus-two solution'

Sheikh Hasina seems set to soon be joined in exile by her bitter political rival, another former prime minister, Khaleda Zia, reports the BBC's John Sudworth from Dhaka.

Khaleda Zia in a file photo from January 2007
Khaleda Zia has agreed to leave Bangladesh

Bangladeshi government sources say Khaleda Zia, has agreed to go to Saudi Arabia, as soon as the visa clearance has been given by the Saudi authorities.

They are the two most powerful political leaders in Bangladesh, and violence between their supporters led to the cancellation of January's general election and the imposition of a state of emergency.

Now the military-backed caretaker government appears on the brink of implementing what some here dub the "minus-two solution", completely removing the two women from the political scene, our correspondent says.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
How violence lead to exile for the former prime ministers



SEE ALSO
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Country profile: Bangladesh
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