BDR troops surrender in Bangladesh

February 26, 2009 news service

Government officials in Bangladesh say mutinous Bangladesh Rifles troops have laid down their weapons after a stern warning issued by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday.

The prime minister’s spokesman, Abul Kalam Azad, says the guards surrendered Thursday after two days of street battles in the capital, Dhaka, and across the country.

Earlier in the day Premier Hasina had issued a tough warning to the revolting BDR ranks, “Lay down your guns immediately and go back to barracks. Do not force me to take tough actions or push my patience beyond tolerable limits,” she said on national television.

Officials say as many as 50 people may have died in the mutiny trtiggered by demands og pay hikes and removal of army officers from their units.
Premier Hasina had agreed to pardon the guards if they laid down weapons and peacefully returned to barracks. She warned of tough actions against those refusing to surrender weapons.

A rebel representative said they were surrendering because the prime minister agreed to look into their demands.

The paramilitary BDR is primarily responsible for guarding the country’s borders, but it also serves as backup for the army and police.

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