Tension in Chittagong hills following ethnic clashes

Last Updated: Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 19:28

Dhaka: Ethnic tension mounted in
Bangladesh`s southeastern hills following the recovery of a
second body after clashes between tribesmen and Bengali
speaking settlers, amid unconfirmed claims that seven persons
had died in the violence.

The body of a tribesman was recovered taking the official
toll in the clashes to two, as Army troops patrolled the area
to prevent further violence, officials and witnesses said.

"Army troops continued to patrol the region as the local
tribesmen and Bengali speaking settlers rallied in groups with
lethal weapons at a remote subdistrict of the Sajek valley in
the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT)," a journalist present in the
said over phone.

CHT police today confirmed the death of the second
tribesman but the local tribal leaders claimed seven people
had died in military shootouts yesterday, and their bodies
were hid in the barracks.

An official visiting the scene said angry tribesmen
obstructed CHT affairs minister Dipankar Talikdar, himself a
tribesman, at seven places as he went to the scene in an
attempt to calm the situation.

"The tribesmen attacked the Baghaichhari nirbahi
officer`s (administrative chief) jeep as he was moving in the
minister`s convoy under heavy security escort. He narrowly
escaped the attack but his vehicle was badly damaged," the
official said.


First Published: Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 19:28
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