50 Dead in Widening Bangladesh Mutiny

Border guards take officers hostage as tanks roll through Dhaka
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2009 7:15 AM CST
Bangladesh army soldiers take positions with weapons near the headquarters of Bangladesh Rifles in Dhaka, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009.   (AP Photo/Zia Islam)
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(Newser) – A growing mutiny among troops in Bangladesh has left 50 people dead and forced the army to unleash tanks on the streets of the capital, Dhaka. The unrest began yesterday when border guards rebelled over pay and work conditions and has spread to at least 12 cities throughout the country. Some mutineers are said to be holding their officers hostage, reports the BBC.

In a televised address, the new prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, demanded the rebellious guards stand down and threatened action if they refused. Her government had offered the guards amnesty from prosecution, which was refused. Cell phone service has been suspended across Bangladesh, and schools in Dhaka are closed.
(Read more Bangladesh stories.)