Mutinous Guards Surrender in Bangladesh

Bangladesh (RushPRnews) 02/26/09– Government officials in Bangladesh say mutinous border guards have laid down their weapons after a warning from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The prime minister’s spokesman, Abul Kalam Azad, says the guards surrendered Thursday after two days of street battles in the capital, Dhaka, and across the country.

The guards from a Dhaka paramilitary unit called the Bangladesh Rifles revolted Wednesday to demand better pay and the removal of superior army officers from their unit.

Officials say as many as 50 people may have died in the mutiny.

Ms. Hasina had agreed to pardon the guards if they peacefully returned to their barracks. She warned that it they did not surrender, her government would take “tough action.”

A rebel representative said they were surrendering because the prime minister agreed to look into their demands.

The guards’ main job is to guard the country’s borders, but they also can serve as backup for the army and police.

The home minister in neighboring India, Palaniappan Chidambaram, says that country’s Border Security Force will remain vigilant.