x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Bangladeshi bodies still missing

After the attempted uprising by Bangladeshi soldiers, the search for more officers' bodies in mass graves continues.

Army soldiers inspect the abandoned uniforms of the rebel Bangladesh Rifles members inside the BDR headquarters in Dhaka yesterday.
Army soldiers inspect the abandoned uniforms of the rebel Bangladesh Rifles members inside the BDR headquarters in Dhaka yesterday.

The grim search for dozens of missing army officers entered a third day in the Bangladeshi capital today after a revolt by border guards left at least 76 people dead, most dumped in two mass graves. Dozens of officers remained missing as hundreds of firefighters, soldiers and sniffer dogs combed the three-square-kilometre Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) compound while anxious relatives looked on. "The death toll from the revolt is 76 - with 65 of those officers," the fire service operations chief Sheikh Mohammad Shahjalal said. "The search will continue until the last missing officer is found."

A military intelligence officer Col Mizan, who uses only one name, said today that as many as 72 officers were still missing. Most of the bodies, many of them riddled with bullet wounds and mutilated by bayonets, were found in two mass graves concealed under leaves and loose dirt. The BDR chief and his wife were among the dead. The grisly deaths emerged as BDR border guards laid down their arms on Thursday evening, 33 hours after the deadly revolt over pay and conditions began.

With rescuers pulling up one dead body after another from the graves, a process shown live on television news channels, angry army officers called for those behind the attacks to be severely punished. "We have never lost such a large number of army officers - even during the war of liberation in 1971 or any coup after that," said a retired major general Fazlul Karim, a former BDR chief, speaking of the country's bloody independence struggle from Pakistan almost 38 years ago. *AFP