Fri, February 27, 2009
World > Asia-Pacific

Rebellion by Bangladesh's border guards ends

2009-02-26 17:12:46 GMT2009-02-27 01:12:46 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

The mutinous soldiers of paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) are seen at the BDR headquarters in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, at noon on Feb 26, 2009. In the meantime BDR all laid down their arms while Bangladesh's Armed Police and elite-force RAB have entered the besieged BDR Headquarters Thursday evening, officials said. (Xinhua/Qamruzzaman)

People watch an army convoy moving toward the paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, on Feb 26, 2009.BDR all laid down their arms while Bangladesh's Armed Police and elite-force RAB have entered the besieged BDR Headquarters Thursday evening, officials said. (Xinhua/Qamruzzaman)

A tank moves toward the paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, on Feb 26, 2009.BDR all laid down their arms while Bangladesh's Armed Police and elite-force RAB have entered the besieged BDR Headquarters Thursday evening, officials said. (Xinhua/Qamruzzaman)

DHAKA, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- A bloody revolt by Bangladesh's paramilitary border guards Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) against their army officers came to an end Thursday evening with the mutinous soldiers surrendering arms at Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's appeal.

Over 100 security personnel were believed killed or wounded during the mutiny that broke out Wednesday morning at the BDR Headquarters in capital city Dhaka.

BDR officer Major Zaheed, who was released from captivity Thursday afternoon, said more than 100 officers were killed and injured in the putsch against the hierarchy that consists of army officers.

An army source on condition of anonymity told private news agency UNB that at the time of rebellion, 168 officers were inside the headquarters.

Police found so far nine bodies of the officers and 22 others were released on Thursday. The source said 137 officers were still missing.

After the surrenders of arms, Bangladesh's Armed Police Battalion (APB) and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) entered the besieged Headquarters Thursday evening and took control of the headquarters as the mutineers flew white flag.

They are searching for the missing officers dead or alive.

Home Minister Sahara Khatun, who visited the BDR Headquarters after two days of hectic trouble-shooting efforts, said the mutinous soldiers laid down their arms and returned to barracks.

She told the waiting reporters Thursday night that those army officers who were inside the headquarters came out as the holdup was over.

"We hope peace will return through this surrender," she said.

Police said 96 mutinous BDR members were arrested while fleeing the headquarters on Thursday.

The BDR has a manpower of 67,000 and its primary task is guarding the country's frontier. It is under Home Ministry, but its senior officers are all from the army.

Earlier, the BDR soldiers complained that the army officers repressed them physically and financially. They also raised corruption charges against their officers. They demanded removal of the army officers from their commanding positions countrywide.

A mutinous delegation met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wednesday afternoon and put forward their demands, including amnesty. Hasina assured them of meeting their demands and announced general amnesty for them.

After hectic negotiations between the government and rebel leaders throughout the day, the rebellion came to an end and rattles of guns silenced.

The prime minister earlier had series of meetings with her cabinet members, party leaders and the chiefs of the three services to overcome the situation.

In a nationwide address over television Thursday afternoon Hasina asked the mutineers to lay down their arms and return to barracks. Otherwise, she would take "tough actions for the interest of the country."

Army also took positions and several tanks rolled out of cantonment towards the headquarters Thursday afternoon before the surrender.

But in a chain reaction to Wednesday's bloody revolt in Dhaka, tensions spilled over to different BDR camps across the country Thursday morning and scattered violent incidents took place, local media reports said.

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