Ahmadiya mosques torched, bombed in Bangladesh:-
Dhaka | June 24, 2005 9:42:54 PM IST
Dhaka, June 24 : Unidentified people torched and bombed two mosques belonging to the Ahmadiya minority Muslim sect in Bangladesh Friday, injuring at least two people.
The two mosques in the southeastern district of Brahmanbaria, some 160 km from the capital, were bombed at the same time, police said.
Local people rushed to the spot to douse the fire but it spread very rapidly as bombs exploded one after the other early Friday. Witnesses said several bombs were hurled.
A national level leader of Ahmadiya Muslims, Abdul Awwal, told IANS in Dhaka that the attack was pre-planned and part of the hate campaign against the community.
He said both the mosques were partly damaged in the bombings and fire that also left two people, including a woman, injured.
Security has been tightened around Ahmadiya mosques after the attacks.
“Religious zealots are going out of control as the government is going soft on them and we appeal to the government to ensure the security of our members all over the country as there is a threat to their life and freedom of religion,” another Ahmadiya leader said.
Members of the community in Bangladesh - about 100,000 in number - have been facing a hate campaign started by Islamist groups of the Sunni sect, who want the former labelled as “non-Muslims”.
The Ahmadiya community has suffered attacks in different parts of the country since October 2003. In January 2004, the Bangladesh government banned all publications of the Ahmadiya Muslim jamaat that evoked protest at home and abroad. The high court later imposed an injunction on the government order.