Dhaka, Nov 25 (UNI) A fishermen association today claimed about 3000 fishermen were killed and another 700 missing alone in Bangladesh's southern Sundarbans forest areas following cyclone 'Sidr' that battered the country's costal belt on November 15.
Major (retd) Zia, president of the Dublarchar Fishermen Group, made the claim at a press conference at Bagerhat press club after 10 days of the cyclone amids general belief that the actual death toll could be higher than that of the official figure.
In support of his contention, Mr Zia said nearly 30,000 people, mostly fishermen, came to cyclone shelters at Dublar char on the fateful night, but due to lack of accommodation, around 12,000 people were shifted to different channels inside the Sundarbans mangrove forest. He said most of them were killed by the storm.
The government Food and Disaster Ministry put the overall death toll at 3061 while the armed forces division put it at 3199 so far.
Official figure of missing was around 2,000. The government's comment on Zia's claim was not immediately available.