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Minority sect mosque attacked in Bangladesh

IANS, India
Nov. 2, 2004 • Tuesday November 2, 2004

At least 15 people were injured when a mosque of a minority Muslim sect was attacked in Bangladesh Friday.

Around 300 activists from local madrassas and mosques attacked the Ahmadiya Muslim Jamaat mosque at Bhadughar in the southeastern Brahmanbaria district, about 162 km from here.

The attack came just before the special Friday afternoon prayers, police and eyewitnesses said.

“They were carrying sharp weapons and sticks and started throwing stones at us as we prepared for our prayers,” Manjur Hossain, district-level chief of the sect, said.

Of the injured, 30-year-old Sobju Miah, president of the Bhadughar Ahmadiya community, is in a serious condition and is undergoing treatment at a local hospital.

“Religious zealots are going out of control with the government going soft on them,” Tauhidul Islam, a spokesperson for the sect here, told IANS.

“We appeal to the government to ensure the security of our members all over the country. They are facing a continuous threat on their lives and their freedom to practice their religion.”

The 100,000 members of the sect in Bangladesh live in constant fear of attack, with different Islamist groups campaigning to ostracise them.

Attacks have been particularly frequent all over the country over the past year.

In January, the government banned all publications of the sect, evoking protests at home and abroad.

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