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Woman battles tiger to save husband

Nazma Akhter and her husband were fishing near the fringes of Sunderbans forest when the big cat pounced.

india Updated: Jul 11, 2006 16:12 IST

A woman armed with only a row boat oar battled a Royal Bengal tiger in southwest Bangladesh to save her husband from the attacking animal, police said on Monday.

Nazma Akhter, 18, and her husband Anwarul Islam, 25, were fishing for shrimp on Sunday in a canal on the fringes of the Sunderbans forest when the big cat pounced, said district police chief ASM Jahid.

"The tiger bit the man's knee and was dragging him into the forest, but his wife Nazma frantically beat it back with an oar from their boat," he said.

Using the oar, Akhter kept the tiger at bay for around ten minutes before it abandoned her husband and disappeared back into the forest, he said.

Police and forest officials said the incident followed fatal tiger attacks last week on two women in the area.

Islam was recovering in hospital Monday and his injuries were not considered life threatening.

Tigers each year kill around 20 people in Bangladesh, mostly fishermen and honey and wood collectors, who work in the 5,800 square kilometre square mile Sunderbans forest, the world's biggest mangrove jungle.