At least 49 people were feared dead after a fire ripped through a food and beverage factory just outside Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, local TV stations reported on Friday. At least 20 more were injured after the blaze broke out on Thursday night, Reuters reported. Firefighters were still battling the blaze on Friday afternoon. It was not known how many people remained trapped inside.
At least 15 people have been killed after a “devastating” fire ripped through a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh, the UN refugee agency has said. At least another 400 remain missing, the UNHCR added. Seven deaths have been confirmed so far by police. The fire tore through the Balukhali camp in the town of Cox’s Bazar late on Monday, destroying more than 17,000 shelters as people tried to save their meager possessions.
Bangladesh naval vessels carried about 1,600 Rohingya refugees to a remote island in the Bay of Bengal on Friday despite complaints by refugees and rights groups that some were being coerced. Bangladesh says it is only transferring people who are willing to go and the move will ease chronic overcrowding in camps that are home to more than 1 million Rohingya, members of a Muslim minority who have fled neighboring Myanmar.
Bangladesh’s cabinet on Monday approved the death penalty for rapists amid nationwide protests in the wake of a series of gang rapes and sexual assaults. Bangladesh has seen a surge of sexual crimes in recent years, with nearly 1,000 incidents reported between January and September, more than a fifth of them gang rapes, according to human rights group Ain-o-Salish Kendra.
The father of an engineering student who was beaten to death at his university halls in Bangladesh has demanded justice for his son, as protests against politically motivated attacks on campuses continued. Abrar Fahad, 22, who was allegedly targeted after he criticized the government in a Facebook post, was found dead at his university halls of residence in Dhaka on Monday.
A former army officer convicted of killing Bangladesh’s independence leader in 1975 has been executed. Abdul Majed was hanged in the capital Dhaka after his appeal for presidential clemency was rejected this week. He was arrested on Tuesday after spending 25 years on the run for the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Rahman – the father of the current prime minister, was killed during a military coup in 1975.
Bangladesh has banned fishing off its coast for 65 days to try and boost depleted fish stocks. The government told the BBC that all types of fishing vessels would be covered by the ban and coast guards would enforce it from Monday. Thousands of fishermen have planned protests – arguing that they will be left without a source of income. The ban – lasting from 20 May until 23 July – is timed to occur with the breeding season.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has secured her third consecutive term with a landslide victory, Bangladesh’s Election Commission said on Monday. The opposition has condemned the vote as “farcical,” marred by violence, intimidation and vote rigging claims. At least 17 people have been killed in clashes between ruling party supporters and the opposition. “We urge the election commission to void this farcical result immediately,” opposition leader Kamal Hossain said.
A man who tried to enter the cockpit of a Bangladeshi jet has died in a shootout with soldiers after the plane was forced to make an emergency landing. Soldiers stormed the plane and shot the man after he refused to give himself up. The man appeared to have a pistol and explosives around his body, said the head of Bangladesh’s civil aviation authority, Air Vice Marshal Nayeem Hasan. The suspect died before reaching the hospital.
At least 80 people have died after a massive fire engulfed apartment buildings that also housed chemical warehouses in the old city of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka. Dozens of people were trapped in the buildings, unable to escape onto narrow streets clogged with traffic, as the highly-combustible stores of chemicals, body sprays and plastic granules erupted in flames. The fire ignited around 10.40pm on Wednesday night and burned until after sunrise, with heavy smoke still visible over the site early on Thursday.