Eid leaves bloody trail in Dhaka

With the Islamic world celebrating Eid al-Adha, Dhaka citizens have been grappling with a river of blood. Pictures of blood stained Dhaka streets are flooding the Internet. The massive scale of animal sacrifice on the occasion of Eid has mingled with floodwater in several parts of the capital city, to create this bloodbath.

A BBC report suggests that as many as 100,000 livestock were slaughtered this Eid in Dhaka. These immolations took place mostly on the streets or in the car parks of residences. Eid coincided with heavy monsoon showers, which exacerbated the issue. Flooding isn’t a new concern in Dhaka. Many older parts of the Bangladeshi capital suffer from poor infrastructure and drainage.

Most of the “blood rivers” occurred in the suburb of Shantinagar and its neighbouring regions; blood and animal waste mixed with the waters to create this horrific sight – residents were seen trudging along ankle-deep bloody water.Both flooding and animal sacrifices are commonplace in Bangladesh. Thus, not many locals have expressed shock at the situation. But the images have caught the imagination of the Internet.

Eid al-Adha is an annual holiday here, and is Bangladesh’s second most celebrated festival after Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Adha is a remembrance of the day prophet Ibrahim became prepared to sacrifice his son Ishmael (according to the Islamic scriptures).

Livestock, which includes goats and cows are bought from the marketplace by practising Muslims, and sacrificed as a symbol of gratitude to Allah, for sparing Ishmael, following an imam’s (the person who leads the prayer service at a mosque) reading of the Koran. While the offal and waste are discarded, the rest of the meat is distributed among friends, family and the poor.

Since many families resort to animal sacrifice on the streets, there is a certain amount of blood outside every year, which takes a few days to clear out.

However, due to the heavy showers, the streets appear to be washed with blood.

The images shared online have lead to many animal activists creating a hue and cry, while others have sided with the Islamic tradition calling it a religious duty. Defenders of the custom have also argued that this act offers livelihood for livestock farmers and that the poor get to partake of the meat.

Residents have duly criticised the city administration for a flawed drainage system, which has been a long-pending issue in many areas. City authorities have argued that they had specifically chalked out areas for animal slaughter, so this problem should not have occurred had the residents followed the rules. A waste management official working with Dhaka South City Corporation informed Dhaka Tribune that steps were being taken to resolve the crisis.

Sources: BBC, The Guardian



Fire in Bangladesh Factory kills 23, injures 70

Tongi, Bangladesh: 23 people have been killed and more than 70 injured at a packaging factory in Bangladesh. Local police stated that around 100 workers were in the factory when the fire broke out. A boiler in the factory exploded, causing the fire to erupt and engulf the building.

Bangladesh newspaper, The Dhaka Tribune, reported that flames quickly spread through the four-storey Tempako Packaging Factory, which is 20 km North of capital city, Dhaka. The explosion instantly killed 17 people, while according to latest statistics, more than four workers succumbed to their injuries.

The government deployed more than twenty teams of firefighters to control and eventually extinguish the massive blaze. The fire also caused the four-storey building to partially collapse, injuring more workers.

This latest incident is just one in a string of fires over the past few years. Due to poor safety measures and conditions in factories, workers’ lives are often put at risk. In 2013, the popular Rana Plaza collapsed, leaving a horrific death toll of more than 1000 people.


Police raid in Bangladesh kills nine militants

On Tuesday morning, the Bangladesh police rushed into a militant hideout near Dhaka. The gun battle killed nine suspected Islamic extremists. One wounded militant was captured and another successfully escaped. The operation Storm 26 was able to destroy the militants.

The militants were the members of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). During the battle with the police they shouted “Allahu akbar” or “God is greatest”.

This is a banned group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

The militants were hiding in a building in Kalyanpur, on the outskirts of the capital. They furiously fired on the officers when they tried to enter, the police said to the PTI.

After the attack the police officers told the reporters that the militants were wearing black outfits, turbans and had backpacks, so similar to the outfits that the attackers in the cafe had. He also added that they were plotting a major attack in the city like that of the cafe.

The building owners are questioned by the police. They have got hold of 13 grenades and a huge quantity of explosive gel, among other weapons, ranging from pistols to commando knives.

Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina said to the PTI that a speedy action saved Bangladesh from another terror attack.

Earlier this month, the cafe attack in Bangladesh killed 22 foreigners and five attackers.

Dhaka Attacks: 2 Key Witnesses Go Missing

Following the terror attack on Holey Artisan Bakery and O’Kitchen restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic enclave on July 1, two witnesses namely, Tahmid Hasib Khan and Hasnat R Karim have reportedly gone missing.
According to the Dhaka Tribune, families of both Tahmid and Hasnat have given statements stating that none of the two have reached home, after they were released by the police on the night of July 6, hours before the Eid celebration.
Tahmid and Hasnat were rescued by security forces along with at least 30 other hostages, on July 2 and were taken in for interrogation soon after the rescue operation along with other survivors. All other survivors, except Tahmid, a student of University of Toronto and Hasnat , a former teacher at the North South University, were released a day after their rescue.
It is still not certain as to why they were the only ones detained for an extended 72 hours as compared to the rest of the survivors. However, sources in the police department have claimed that both of them gave separate statements about the incident.
As per initial reports, police said that they were looking for their alleged linkage in the terror strike at Gulshan café. According to Deputy Commisioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Masudur Rahman stated that both youths were released after interrogation.
While Rezaul Karim, Hasnat’s father has confirmed that his son has not made it home. A search campaign was initiated by Tahmid’s family on social media in the hope of finding him after the attack.

Sources: http://article.wn.com/view/2016/07/12/2_Witnesses_To_Dhaka_Cafe_Carnage_Missing_Report/

Eid Celebrations Marred by 2nd Terror Attack in Bangladesh

Four have been killed and about 12 injured by Islamic extremists during the Eid prayers in Kishoregonj, Bangladesh. The terrorists launched homemade bombs at the prayer site, where more than two hundred thousand people had gathered to commemorate Eid,reported the Times of India.

Officials say that one of the attackers was shot dead, while the other one was captured alive. This event took place less than a week after the horrific hostage attack at a small café in Dhaka by seven Islamic terrorists, that killed 22 civilians.

Amongst the casualties, two police officers and one woman were killed. Once the bomb exploded, the police opened fire at the terrorists simultaneously injuring innocent bystanders.

Reports suggest that the Eid attack was targeted at the main Imam, or chief leader, who is widely known in the district for his secular views.

The government responded to this attack by denying that international Islamic extremist forces are at work, instead stating that it was the work of local militants, who are carrying out these activities in an effort to destabilise the government.

Bangladesh has seen a rise of Islamic extremism since 2013, with the brutal killings of liberal thinkers, bloggers and activists.

2 dead as ferry capsizes in Bangladesh

Dhaka, Bangladesh: A ferry carrying more than 200 passengers capsized in Central Bangladesh and has left two people dead, others are missing and feared to be dead in this incident.

According to a local police chief Tofazzal Hossain, the boat sank in Padma river 30 miles south of Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh. He further added that about twenty passengers swimmed and managed to reach the shore while a few were rescued by the locals.

Ferries in Bangladesh usually do not maintain records of people travelling on them. Therefore, it is very unclear about the number of people travelling in MV Pinak-6. Investigators have cited unsafe vessels and overloading along with weak navigation facilities for the accidents.

The rescued passengers claim that the ferry was overloaded with people and in turn could not resist the strong current which lead to its overturn.

“People were panicking and screaming,” Khokon Mia, a survivor, told Somoy TV. “There were no life jackets or life boats. I was floating in the water. Some people in a speed boat came and rescued me.”

Bangladesh is not new to such accidents. One such incident took place in May killing 58 people after a ferry capsized in the same area.

A rescue team has been dispatched to the site by the government, officials said in Dhaka.

To read more: http://online.wsj.com/articles/ferry-carrying-up-to-250-people-capsizes-in-bangladesh-1407136451