Bangladesh seeks justice for 1971 war crimes, fears attacks | world | Hindustan Times
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Bangladesh seeks justice for 1971 war crimes, fears attacks

Security will be stepped up at government installations across Bangladesh amid fears of possible attacks by Islamists or criminal gang. The alert comes as the country prepares to put on trial dozens of people alleged to have committed war crimes during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence.

world Updated: Jun 08, 2009 14:33 IST

Bangladesh has ordered security stepped up at government installations across the country amid fears of possible attacks by Islamists or criminal gangs, officials said on Monday.

The alert comes as the south Asian country prepares to put on trial later this month dozens of people alleged to have committed war crimes during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence.

"We have sent a letter to the home ministry to take measures against any militant threat or action on the basis of intelligence reports," Law Minister Shafique Ahmed told reporters late on Sunday.

Security officials also fear a backlash following the recent arrest of three close associates of underworld don Daud Ibrahim. They confessed to a judicial magistrate of having run a clandestine criminal network for Daud.

One of the detainees told police that about 100 Daud agents were active in Bangladesh, an overwhelmingly Muslim country of more than 140 million people and already facing militancy by the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB) and other outlawed groups.

The JMB is blamed for a series of bomb attacks in 2005 that killed dozens of people, including lawyers, judges and police in 2005.

Police and intelligence officials say they have been regrouping since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took office in January.

Jamaat's top leaders are among those facing trial for allegedly helping the Pakistani army in acts of genocide in what was then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, during the war of independence.