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Islamists attack Ahmadiyyas in Bangladesh – two killed, over 100 injured

A file image of clash between Dhaka police and Islamists (IANS photo)

At least two persons died and 100 others were left injured in an attack led by an angry mob of several Islamist organisation leaders against the Ahmadiyya community in Panchagarh district in northern Bangladesh.

Of the 100 persons injured included nine policemen and two journalists. More than 30 houses belonging to the Ahmadiyya community members were set ablaze during the attack as well as a traffic police office was also torched. As many as 17 platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have been deployed in Panchagarh city area to prevent further clashes, says BGB officials to IANS.

Twenty-three-year-old Zahid Hasan, from the Ahmadiyya community, was hacked to death by militants in Panchagarh. The deceased victim Zahid lived in Banpara area of Natore.

Ahmed Tabsher Chowdhury, the Convenor of ‘Salana Jalsa’ of the Ahmadiyya community, confirmed to IANS that the Islamists, protesting the three-day congregation forced to take Zahid beside the Karatowa river and hacked him to death.

In Panchagarh, there was a massive attack by the Islamists demanding the closure of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat’s a three-day congregation, which began on Friday, named ‘Salana Jalsa’.

Arifur Rahman (28) was killed in the attack by the Islamists, which lasted for nearly six hours, blocking the Korotoa bridge. However, the district authority and police announced to postponed the congregation.

The clash broke out between police and the Islamists in Panchagarh,after the brutal attack and looting the shops and homes of the Ahmadiyya community. The militant leaders of the qwaomi organised a mob to attack the Ahmadiyya community.

.A rally of the Islamists led the attack with angry mob demanding a halt to the gathering of the Ahmadiyyas, a sect of Islam formed by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad .
Majedur Rahman Chowdhury, the Councillor of ward-2 of the municipality, confirmed to IANS that the deceased, Arifur Rahman, is a resident of Masjidpara area of Panchagarh municipality.

A clash broke out between police and the devotees in Panchagarh as the latter carried out a rally demanding halting the gathering of the Ahmadiyya Muslims.

The clash ensued on Friday at around 2 p.m. at Chowrangi intersection of Panchagarh city and lasted for several hours. Police detained several people from the scene, but the exact figure could not be known immediately.

S.M. Sirajul Huda,the Superintendent of Police told IANS that the police have brought the situation under control. Police urged the Ahmadiyyas to halt their congregation to evade clashes. However, they (police) couldn’t confirm the death of anyone in this clash.

Islamists from different mosques gathered at Chowrangi intersection after the afternoon prayer. Following this, they carried out a rally and tried to move towards Ahmednagar village, around two kilometre away from the city. At that time police intercepted their movement, leading to a clash between both parties.

The Islamists pelted stones at police.The militant leaders led the mob and looted the shops at city area and set them on fire. Apart from this, they torched an office of traffic police and at least 50 houses of Ahmadiyyas at Ahmednagar village.

Ahmadiyyas organised a three-day congregation, which began on Friday and continued till Saturday and Sunday.

Earlier on Thursday morning, different groups of the Islamists staged to block the Ahmadiyyas, calling them as ‘ non-Muslim’ at Chowrangi intersection and blocking the highway in demand of suspending the gathering.