Zia had direct links to 2004 rally attack: Hasina

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Dhaka, Aug 22: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina claimed that former PM and current opposition leader, Khaleda Zia, had direct links with the grenade attacks on a party rally in 2004, which killed 24 people and over 400 injured.

Sheikh Hasina told on Saturday, Aug 21, that Bangladesh National Party (BNP) and Jamaat coalition government had scuttled the probe and had destroyed evidence. She also told that Zia"s ministers patronised the attackers, who are believed to belong to Islamist militant outfits that Zia later banned under international pressures.

"Certain activities of the then BNP-Jamaat coalition government point to the fact that they had direct links with the attack and there is no doubt about it. Investigation continues and those who killed so many innocent people must be tried and punished," said Sheikh Hasina.

Militants attacked Sheikh Hasina on Aug 21, 2004, when she was addressing a rally. Attackers thrown more than 13 grenades into the crowd from the rooftops of nearby buildings and killed 24 people including Hasina"s bodyguard and Awami League Women's Affairs Secretary Ivy Rahman.

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