Bangladesh bans night buses after bomb attacks

2015-02-10 21:20
Bangladeshi residents repair a boat on the banks of the Buriganga river during a nationwide strike and blockade called by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led alliance in Dhaka. (Munir uz Zaman, AFP)

Bangladeshi residents repair a boat on the banks of the Buriganga river during a nationwide strike and blockade called by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led alliance in Dhaka. (Munir uz Zaman, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dhaka - Bangladesh has ordered long-distance buses off the roads at night after two petrol bomb attacks killed 16 people during a worsening outbreak of political unrest.

The attacks were the deadliest to hit Bangladesh since the violence began in early January, when the opposition called a nationwide transport blockade.

Junior home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said transport operators had agreed to keep buses off the roads after 21:00, although other vehicles would still run.

"No night coaches will operate until further notice," he told reporters.

More than 1 000 buses, trucks and vans have been fire-bombed in attacks blamed on opposition activists as part of the blockade, aimed at toppling Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The spiralling violence has left at least 82 people dead, injured hundreds of others and cost the impoverished economy nearly $10bn, according to business leaders.

Millions of long-distance travellers rely on Bangladesh's buses, whose operators have suffered mounting losses since the blockade began.

Marcia Bernicat, the US ambassador, described the situation as "absolute tragic" after meeting the Bangladesh foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali on Tuesday.

"Everyone has a role to play stopping that violence. Bangladesh is blessed with democracy and there is a space within that democracy to resolve differences," she said.

Opposition leader Khaleda Zia called for the current blockade of roads, railways and waterways after police confined the former two-time premier to her office on 3 January.

Zia denies her Bangladesh Nationalist Party is behind the violence, but has vowed to continue the blockade until Hasina agrees to new polls.

Zia leads a 20-party opposition alliance which boycotted a general election last year on the grounds it would be rigged.

Authorities have deployed thousands of troops and police to guard vehicles and more than 10 000 protesters have been arrested, but the unrest shows no sign of abating.

Read more on:    bangladesh

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.