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Business News/ News / World/  Bangladesh pre-poll violence: 5 dead as Benapole Express train catches fire, several Indians believed to be on board
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Bangladesh pre-poll violence: 5 dead as Benapole Express train catches fire, several Indians believed to be on board

Bangladesh election: Dhaka-bound Benapole Express train was set on fire in Sayedabad on Friday night. “We have recovered five bodies,” police commander Khandaker Al Moin said.

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire set to a passenger train, ahead of the general election in Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 5, 2024. (REUTERS)Premium
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire set to a passenger train, ahead of the general election in Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 5, 2024. (REUTERS)

Five people were killed in Bangladesh after a passenger train caught fire Friday. Local media reported that some Indian citizens were also travelling in the train. Several people have been injured, Somoy news reported.

According to Reuters, police suspected an arson attack during unrest ahead of national elections. "We suspect the fire incident was an act of sabotage," police chief Anwar Hossain told AFP, without giving more details.

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The Benapole Express train was set on fire in the Golapbag area of Sayedabad on Friday night, the Business standard reported. The train was on its way to Dhaka from the western city of Jessore. According to the report, a young man died while trying to evacuate passengers from the fire-hit Benapole Express train.

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Fire service officer Rakjibul Hasan said at least four coaches caught fire on the Benapole Express. Witnesses said the train caught fire at Gopibagh, in an old part of Dhaka not far from the megacity's main rail terminal.

"We have recovered five bodies," police commander Khandaker Al Moin was quoted by Reuters as saying.

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Troops deployed across Bangladesh on Wednesday amid fears of violence ahead of a national election which the main opposition party is boycotting. Soldiers travelled in armoured vehicles to temporary camps set up across the capital Dhaka to help the civil administration maintain peace and security.

According to DD News leaders of religious minority communities in Bangladesh had this week demanded effective security measures for minorities during the pre- and post-polling periods of the national election.

On December 19, police and the government blamed the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) for another train fire which left four people dead.

The BNP, had however, rejected involvement in that incident, saying it had been unfairly blamed as a pretext for a government crackdown on opposition parties.

Bangladesh will hold national elections on January 7, Sunday, but the BNP and dozens of other parties have boycotted what they have described as a "sham" vote.

Thousands of opposition activists were arrested late last year after protest campaign demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

(With inputs from Reuters)

 

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Published: 05 Jan 2024, 10:19 PM IST
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