20 vehicles torched
At least four people were killed in an arson attack in Rangpur and 20 others wounded across the country including Dhaka today during the countrywide non-stop blockade enforced by the BNP-led 20-party alliance, report agencies.
A total of 20 vehicles were set on fire on the ninth consecutive day of the blockade.
Four passengers were killed and sixteen burnt as miscreants hurled a petrol bomb at a bus in Mithapukur upazila early today.
Miscreants waylaid a bus of Khalil Paribahan on Dhaka-Rangpur highway at Jaigirhat around 2:00am and hurled a petrol bomb at the vehicle, killing four passengers on the spot, Rabiul Alam, officer-in-charge (OC) of Mithapukur Police Station, said.
Identities of the deceased could not be when this report was filed at 9:40pm, reports our Rangpur correspondent.
The injured persons were identified as Tasiran Bewa, 50, Monowara Begum, 35, Nusrat, 13, Nadia, 6, Shahida Begum, 35, Minara Khatun, 20, Rashida Aktar, 15, Sammi Aktar, 25, Lucky Begum, 25, Solayman Mian, 50, Alamgir Hossain, 35, Mahbubar Rahman, 32, Rashed Khan Menon, 30, Amir Hossain, 38, Anwar Hossain, 33, and Abu Bakkar Siddique, 45, police official said.
Most of them were hailing from Ulipur.
The bus was heading for Dhaka from Ulipur upazila of Kurigram, the OC said.
The opposition alliance is observing the blockade since January 5 protesting confinement of BNP Chairperson Khaleda in her Gulshan office.
Six vehicles were torched, said an official of Fire Service and Civil Defence.
“At least 20 vehicles were torched across the country including six in Dhaka,” said Mohammad Ali, Duty Officer of fire service department.
The official did not provide any detailed information about the arson attack.
In the capital, the attack took place in separate areas including Mohammadpur, Nilkhet, Gulistan, Sign Board and Biswa Road.
In Bangabazar, two people including a student sustained injuries as miscreants hurled two crude bombs in the area around 8:00pm.
Critically injured Ovi, 19, a first year student of Kabi Nazrul Government College, and Jibon, employee of a shop were admitted to the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital.
Witnesses said Ovi’s face was charred in the crude bomb blast.
Two truck drivers were gravely injured when pro-blockade supporters hurled crude bombs at Rasulpur of Shibganj upazila around 6:15pm.
The injured — Liton Mia, 35, and Md Rana, 20, were rushed to Rajshahi Medical and College Hospital for treatment our correspondent reports quoting Moinul Islam, OC of Shibganj Police Station.
In wake of growing violence and loss of lives, the Unites States, European Union and United Kingdom have urged all sides to show restraint and engage in a “genuine dialogue” to solve the crisis.
BNP chief Khaleda Zia on January 5 called the countrywide blockade for an indefinite period to protest government’s bar on rallies in the capital and elsewhere.