Bangla Army clarifies controversy over weapons-laden ship
Last Updated: Sunday, June 27, 2010, 22:21
Dhaka: Bangladesh on Sunday rejected media reports of a weapon-laden ship bound for Pakistan from its Chittagong port, saying the vessel was carrying military supplies of Pakistani and Nepalese peacekeepers deployed on UN mission in Liberia.

The Karachi-bound cargo vessel MV Aegean Glory from Bangladesh with military hardware and explosives was detained by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard personnel in West Bengal on Friday.

A battalion of Bangladeshi blue helmet troops deployed in Liberia returned home on completion of their mission along with some military equipment onboard MV Aegean Glory which reached the southeastern Chittagong Port on June 15, the Bangladesh Army said.

"The ship was also carrying military hardware of Pakistani and Nepalese contingents in the UN peacekeeping mission, the ISPR said, adding the ship left Chittagong on June 24.

The Army headquarters statement said 32 containers carrying war weapons and military transports were unloaded in Chittagong Port as the Bangladeshi peacekeepers disembarked.

The statement came a day after the Indian media reported, quoting Kolkata police, that Indian authorities had detained a Pakistan-bound cargo ship with Chittagong being its last sailing port as it carried a huge quantity of explosives and other weapons at Diamond Harbour in West Bengal yesterday.

The Army said reports in several Bangladesh newspapers referring to Indian sources appeared "misleading" and urged all concerned not to be confused over the issue.

The media report said Indian police, Coast Guard and Navy were cordoning off the ship, searching it and verifying documents while men aboard the ship were being interrogated.

The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA), however, said it was a consignment of Army supplies used by UN mission and being taken to Karachi for unloading.

CPA chairman RU Ahmed told The Daily Star newspaper that some equipment used by UN mission were unloaded at the port on June 15 under supervision. He said equipment used by peacekeepers are usually carried in and out through this way.


First Published: Sunday, June 27, 2010, 22:21

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