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Central & South Asia

Bangladesh seizes large haul of ammunition

Country's paramilitary force finds cache of explosives, including 200 rocket launchers, in Habiganj near India border.

Last updated: 03 Jun 2014 14:40
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Bangladesh paramilitary force has declined to comment on the source of the ammunition [File: Reuters]

Dhaka, Bangladesh - A large quantity of ammunition has been found by Bangladesh's paramilitary law enforcement agency, the Rapid Action Batallion (RAB), in an area which borders the Indian state of Tripura, officials told Al Jazeera.

Shaminul Rahman, a RAB company commander of the area where the ammunition was found, told Al Jazeera that they had found 250 anti-tank explosives and 200 rockets in two bunkers on Tuesday in the Satchharhi forests, which are located in the north eastern district of Habiganj.

"Looking for illegal arms is our routine work," he said, "But we got some information that somebody had hidden arms in the jungle. This is the reason why we searched there. We started working two days ago, and now we have found them."

Chief of the banned All Tripura Tiger Force Ranjit Debbarma shown here at a courthouse in Tripura in January 2013. Debbarma was arrested in Bangladesh in 2012 and sent to India through the Meghalaya border [File: AFP]

Rahman, who was involved in the operation, said that they had discovered three other "holes in the ground" all of them very well hidden and they would continue their search for arms and ammunition on Wednesday.

There are likely to be suspicions that the ammunition could be linked to the separatist groups, the United Liberation Front of Assam or the All Tripura Tiger Force, as the latter have been known to operate in the area in the past.

Though both groups used to operate actively in Bangladesh, law enforcement action in recent years have seriously weakened the operations of both groups in the country.

Rahman declined to comment on the source of the ammunition.

"It will be clear after the investigation. We could not find anyone in that place, so I can't say from any assumption," he said.

RAB Additional Director General Colonel Ziaul Ahsan, in charge of the operation told Al Jazeera that the ammunition appeared to be "about eight to ten years old".

Follow David Bergman on Twitter: @davidbangladesh

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Al Jazeera
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