Death toll in Bangladesh BDR mutiny is 81

Ten more bodies were recovered Saturday in the headquarters of the Bangladesh Rifles, raising the death toll following Wednesday's bloody revolt to 81.

world Updated: Feb 28, 2009 16:02 IST

Ten more bodies were recovered on Saturday in the headquarters of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) here, raising the death toll following Wednesday's bloody revolt to 81.

The 10 decomposed bodies, including that of a female, were retrieved from two graves inside the headquarters. The army is searching for more graves and more bodies.

Fire service chief Abu Nayeem, who led a rescue team, told Xinhua that more than 2,000 members from various security agencies and the army were searching the BDR headquarters.

An army official said that around 50 army officers were still missing.

Home Minister Sahara Khatun Friday evening said that 40 bodies of army officers were recovered on Friday.

The 40 bodies included those of BDR chief Shakil Ahmed. Two bodies were found in a sewerage tunnel.

Thousands of BDR troopers staged a bloody revolt against their commanding officers deputed from the army over pay and other benefits Wednesday morning.

The mutiny ended late Thursday when the rebels laid down their arms after an amnesty offer, made by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina late Wednesday, was followed by threats of stronger action as regular troops backed by tanks surrounded the BDR complex in Dhaka.

Local reports said more than 160 army officers as well as their relatives were either killed or held hostages on Wednesday morning.

Bangladesh has announced a three-day national mourning until Sunday in commemoration of the mutiny victims. All the slain army officers will be buried with state honour.

BDR, whose main task is to protect the country's borders, comes under the home ministry but its senior officers are all from the army.

The BDR personnel complained they have been ignored and repressed by their officers for a long time.

First Published: Feb 28, 2009 15:27 IST