Bangladesh mutiny spreading, over 50 dead

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Dhaka, Feb 26 (ANI): The mutiny by paramilitary troops in Bangladesh was reportedly spreading to other parts of the country on Thursday.

Nearly 50 people are feared dead after paramilitary troops staged a mutiny on Wednesday morning at the headquarters of the Bangladesh Rifles in Dhaka over pay and career advancement conditions.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for an emergency cabinet meeting in a bid to end the crisis.

The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) has 45,000 men stationed at 64 camps across the country.

There are unconfirmed reports of gunfire in the main port city of Chittagong, at Feni, on the eastern border with India, in Rajshahi in the northwest, and Sylhet in the north.

Many of the dead are believed to be senior officers of the Bangladesh Rifles.

At least five bodies in Army uniform have been brought out of a marshy area within the BDR headquarter compound.

The mutiny broke out at about 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning following an altercation between the army men and the BDR officers over the formers' pay and perks, conditions of service and other facilities, which they alleged, were discriminatory. It is the Bangladesh Army, which makes up the officers of the paramilitary force.

The rebels had begun laying down arms at the headquarters of the BDR after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina offered the troops a general amnesty.

Hasina had assured that she would consider the rebels demands.

However, a group of BDR jawans warned people of neighbouring households through loudspeaker to keep themselves at safe distance from the headquarters in case of any possible confrontation between the army and rebel BDR men.

Deputy Law Minister Kamrul Islam said the situation remained tense, as thousands of armed troops are believed to be still inside the BDR headquarters. (ANI)

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