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Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Thursday, 26 February 2009

Eyewitness: Bangladesh mutiny

Former hostages react after their release from the Bangladesh Rifles headquarters in Dhaka on 26 February 2009
BDR troops have released hostages taken on Wednesday
Bangladeshi border guards have mutinied over pay and conditions. The mutiny began in Dhaka on Wednesday and spread around the country.

A number of people have been killed but casualty numbers are unclear. Dhaka residents describe a situation of tension and uncertainty in their city.

HASAN MAHMOUD

Aneruddha Oni took this picture in Dhaka
Aneruddha Oni sent in this picture of the army in Dhanmondi 12A, Dhaka
I am a student of Dhaka University and also a resident student of Sir AF Rahman Hall, half a kilometre away from the BDR headquarters.

The government ordered the evacuation of the area, 3km from the BDR headquarters. I am standing outside our dormitory together with other students. We are thinking of staying here. We don't know where else to go.

Some of the other students who've been outside the camp said that they've seen more than 10 tanks and heavy machine guns going towards the BDR headquarters.

We don't know what's happening. We are hoping that things will soon be under control. We are very anxious because mobile networks are down and we can't contact our parents.

Yesterday I found myself in crossfire between the army and the border guards as I was on my way to the market. I ran away and stayed indoors for the rest of the day. I heard gunshots throughout the day and watched black smoke rise from the BDR headquarters. It was a terrible experience.

ARAFAT KALAM

I am a Canadian citizen who was very close to crossfire this morning. I went to a shopping centre near the army camp.

The roads were packed with cars and people. We were told that the shopping complex is closed, so I went to another one nearby.

Later I heard that 10 people were shot in the area where the other shopping centre is. And that is where I was an hour ago. I quickly caught a rickshaw and went to Jatrabari.

This area is fine for now but who knows for how long. My main concern is that I fly tomorrow and if these conditions remain, I may not be able to catch my flight on time.

ARUN BANSAL

Life goes on as usual in most parts of Dhaka. It is only the area of Pilkhana, where the BDR are based, that is in trouble. I've got friends there and I speak to them regularly.

They keep hearing gunshots. They can't go to work, they can't go outside, they are confined to their homes, waiting for the situation to calm down.

A few major companies here have closed down their offices. Our company is still open, but we have told our employees to feel free to go home.

People are worried that the violence might escalate. Another worry is that businesses will suffer if this continues for much longer.

It is also sad that Bangladesh gets attention from the international media for the wrong reasons.

ANONYMOUS DHAKA RESIDENT

All the schools and colleges in the Dhanmondi area, which is next to Pilkhana where the BDR are based, were closed down today.

I received a text message a while ago, saying that the mobile phone networks will be down across the country except for a few areas in Dhaka till further notice.

I've heard rumours that more than 100 people have died. We are watching the TV channels and that's our only source of information. No-one really knows what is happening and how it will all turn out.


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