Former finance minister Shah Abu Muhammad Shamsul Kibria, a leader of the main opposition Awami League, and four others died in the grenade attack that also wounded more than 70 people in the northeastern Habiganj district in late January.

"The Criminal Investigation Department has charged 10 men, including a top ranking ruling party man of the northeast region, for killing the former finance minister and four others in a political rally in Habiganj district," police officer Mustafa Kamal said.

Among those charged are Abd al-Kaiyum, a vice-president of the Habiganj unit of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), who is accused of being the mastermind and of planning the killings for political gain.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Home Affairs said four of the accused, including the one who is alleged to have thrown the grenade, had confessed to the crime.

All were local leaders or workers for the local branch of the ruling BNP.

Kibria, who was 73, joined the Awami League in the early 1990s after a career as a diplomat and an executive secretary of the UN cultural agency, Unesco.

He quickly became a prominent party policymaker until his death.