Bangladesh: Arrest warrant issued for former PM

Khaleda Zia and 27 opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party members face charges over deadly 2015 fire-bombing in Dhaka.

Khaleda Zia
Bangladeshi politics has been mired for years in rivalry between Hasina and Khaleda, pictured above [AM Ahad/AP]

A Bangladesh court issued an arrest warrant for former prime minister and opposition leader Khaleda Zia over a deadly fire-bomb attack last year, a prosecutor said.

The court on Wednesday also issued arrest warrants for 27 leaders and activists of Khaleda’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party in connection with the petrol-bomb attack on a bus during a party protest in the capital Dhaka in January 2015.

“The court passed the order after accepting the charges against them,” public prosecutor Shah Alam Talukdar said.

Early last year, at least 120 people were killed and hundreds injured in political violence, most in petrol-bomb attacks on vehicles amid transport blockades and strikes by the opposition aimed at toppling the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Bangladeshi politics has been mired for years in rivalry between Hasina and Khaleda. Both women are related to former national leaders, and they have alternated as prime minister for most of the past two decades.

Khaleda, 70, was not immediately available for comment, Reuters news agency reported. She and leaders of her party have denied the accusations of responsibility for the fire attack, saying the allegations are politically motivated.

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Source: Reuters