The death toll from a boating accident in a lake in northwest Pakistan over the weekend reached 51, the military said Tuesday. The vessel was carrying children and teachers from a seminary on a picnic. Police on Sunday said at least 10 students drowned after their boat capsized in Tanda Dam in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. They said then that the vessel was carrying 25 people. Later, however, officials said the boat was overcrowded and in fact was carrying 57 people, mostly children, and at least 51 had died. Read more: 19 women drowned as boat capsizes in Pakistan's Indus River: media The military said in a statement that divers from the army and local emergency service rescued five survivors. It said the search for the remaining person was continuing. Such accidents are common in Pakistan, where rickety wooden boats are often used to transport goods and people on rivers and lakes. Most operate without life jackets.
A member of the armed separatist group Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) was shot to death in a reported gunfight with members of the Army in Ruma upazila of Bandarban district on Saturday. The identity of the deceased could not be known immediately. Tipped off, a team of Bangladesh Army conducted a drive at the middle point of Arthapara and Baslang Para in the evening, said Alamgir Hossain, officer-in-charge of Ruma Police Station. Sensing danger, the KNF members opened fire at the Army, forcing them to fire back, according to the soldiers' account. One separatist was shot dead. Later, police recovered the body of the KNF member from the spot in the morning. Also read; Indigenous man shot dead in Bandarban One gun, ten bullets and different goods used by the criminal gang were seized from the spot. Being panicked, the local people took shelter at Marma Welfare Centre in Ruma upazila Headquarters. Local administration with the help of the Army provided food and medical assistance to them. A group of young men formed the banned armed separatist group Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) in 2020, according to authorities.
Indian chief of Defence Staff had a courtesy conversation with the Bangladesh Army chief over the phone on Thursday night. This is the first time that General Anil Chauhan had a courtesy conversation with Bangladesh Army Chief General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed after taking charge as India's chief of Defence Staff, the Inter Services Public Relation Directorate said. During the conversation, they hoped for more training cooperation between the armies of the two friendly countries. Also, the Bangladesh Army chief invited India's chief of Defence Staff to visit Bangladesh. The conversation is expected to boost relations between the armies of the countries, the Inter Services Public Relation Directorate said. Read more: Bangladesh, India sign first contract under US$500 million defence LoC
Companies from at least 13 countries have helped Myanmar build up its capacity to produce weapons that are being used to commit atrocities following a 2021 military takeover, independent international experts have found. The report released Monday by the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar details how the country has stepped up arms production since the army seized power on Feb. 1, 2021, igniting a mass public opposition movement. The army’s takeover from elected civilian leaders reversed nearly a decade of progress toward democracy after 50 years of military rule. After security forces used lethal force against peaceful demonstrators, opponents of military rule took up arms. Some U.N. experts have characterized the situation as a civil war. Read more: Myanmar's military govt 'willing to take back Rohingyas' . The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners has documented more than 2,700 civilian deaths in the violence, including 277 children, while more than 13,000 people have been detained. The true number is believed to be much higher. Companies in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East are supporting the military supply chain, the report says, urging those businesses to ensure they are not facilitating human rights abuses. The growth of the homegrown arms industry comes as some countries have enforced arms embargoes or sanctions against individuals and companies involved in trading or manufacturing arms. In October, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions against Aung Moe Myint, a businessman close to the army who it said facilitates arms deals on its behalf. His brother, Hlaing Moe Myint, and the trading company they founded, Dynasty International Company Ltd., were also targeted. One of its directors, Myo Thitsar, also was designated for sanctions. In November, the U.S. imposed sanctions on aircraft suppliers to the military, citing deadly air strikes on civilians. Myanmar has no private arms makers, so any such companies are run by the Ministry of Defense and Directorate of Defense Industries, the report said. Local factories still can draw upon licensed technology and overseas supply chains, technical support and other backing, sometimes by sending equipment to Singapore and Taiwan for upgrading and maintenance, it said. In a statement, council expert Chris Sidoti urged that governments investigate and when justified initiate action against companies that enable Myanmar's military to make weapons used in “indiscriminate attacks on civilians." “Foreign companies that profit from the suffering of the Myanmar people must be held accountable," said Sidoti, a human rights lawyer and a member of the U.N. Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar from 2017 to 2019. A report last year by the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights outlined some of those links, naming companies in Russia, China, Ukraine, Israel, Singapore and the Philippines. A major factor driving the buildup in the domestic arms making industry is the risk that imports of arms, military aircraft and other weaponry will be cut off by embargoes or sanctions. The army is now self-reliant in making small arms and light weapons, the report says. Myanmar's arms-making capacity includes a wide variety of items from assault rifles and machine guns to mortars, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, missiles and missile launchers and artillery and air defense systems, it said. Read more: Myanmar's military regime must end its violence, release those unjustly detained: US Land mines and naval mines are among other products being made in Myanmar, said the report, citing people who have worked in the industry and also photos of weapons displayed at a defense and security exhibition in Bangkok that showcased such products. Weapons factories, known as “KaPaSa," an abbreviation of the local name for the Directorate of Defense Industries, draw on components such as fuses, optical sights and detonating caps imported from India and China. They also have computer numerical control, or CNC, machines for milling, grinding and other functions made in Austria, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and the United States, the report said. The exact number of such factories is unclear but analysis of satellite images and other information has identified dozens of such facilities. Much of the technology used in the arms-making industry was transferred for civilian use before the military took control, ousting the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. But more research is needed on the complex network of suppliers, licensors of technology and other details of weapons manufacturing, the report said. Myanmar has endured decades of armed conflict between the central government and ethnic minorities seeking greater autonomy, mostly in border regions.
Armed Forces Day will be observed across the country on Monday with due solemnity and enthusiasm. On this day in 1971, Bangladesh Armed Forces comprising army, navy and air force came into being and launched an all-out attack on the Pakistani occupation forces. Since the country's independence, the day has been observed as the Armed Forces Day every year. The day’s programmes will start with the offering of special prayers in mosques of all cantonments, naval outposts and establishments and air force outposts after Fajr prayers seeking divine blessings for the country’s welfare and progress and continued development and progress of the Armed Forces. Read more: Be ready to fight if enemy attacks peace-loving Bangladesh, PM urges armed forces President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will place wreaths at ‘Shikha Anirban’ (the Eternal Flame) at Dhaka Cantonment in the morning to pay homage to members of the Armed Forces who sacrificed their lives in the War of Liberation. President Abdul Hamid, who is also the supreme commander of the Armed Forces, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the occasion. The chiefs of the three services will place wreaths at ‘Shikha Anirban’ at Dhaka Cantonment in the morning from their respective forces. Later, the three chiefs will pay courtesy calls on the president at Bangabhaban and the Prime Minister at the Armed Forces Division at Dhaka Cantonment. On the occasion, the Prime Minister will host a reception and meet the family members of the Bir Shresthas and other gallantry award-winning freedom fighters at Army Multipurpose Complex. In the afternoon, Sheikh Hasina will also host a reception at 4pm at Sena Kunja in Dhaka Cantonment to commemorate the day. The chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force will also accord receptions to the award-winning freedom fighters of their respective forces and their inheritors. Meanwhile, programmes have been chalked out to observe the day at all army garrisons, naval ships and establishments and air force bases throughout the country. Bangladesh Television (BTV) will broadcast a special programme titled ‘Special Anirban’ after its 8 pm bulletin on Monday highlighting the significance of the day. Bangladesh Betar will broadcast a special ‘Special Durbar’ programme at 7:30pm. The national dailies will publish special supplements on the occasion. President Abdul Hamid, who is also the supreme commander of the Armed Forces, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the occasion. In his message, President Abdul Hamid said the government has formulated ‘Forces Goal 2030’ to modernize the Armed Forces. Under the purview of it, modern military equipment is being added to the Armed Forces which will undoubtedly make the forces more modern, efficient and dynamic. He also expected that, by imbibing the spirit of the great liberation war, the members of the Armed Forces will make every effort to uphold the glory of the armed forces through loyalty to the state and leadership with the coordination of hard work and patriotism. In her message, Prime Minister said “I hope that the members of Armed Forces will perform their duties with patriotism, professionalism and sincerity by imbibe the spirit of the Liberation War. We’ll be able to build a hunger-poverty-free and happy-rich golden Bangladesh dreamt by the Father of the Nation with the collective efforts of all.”
A sense of panic has spread through the residents of Bandarban’s Naikhongchhari upazila, after Myanmar air force helicopters engaged in bouts of heavy firing on their side of the Ghumdhum border on both Monday and Tuesday. Although no one has been hurt on Bangladesh soil, some stray gunfire did make into Bangladesh territory by pillars numbered 18, 31, 34, and 35 – all part of the border in Ghundhum. Stray bullets also made it into Bangladesh between pillar nos. 45 and 46 in Bandarban Sadar. Md Nurul Amin, a local Union Parishad member, said the Myanmar air force commenced this latest round of operations around 4pm on Monday, almost immediately after Major General Shakil Ahmed, DG of Border Guards Bangladesh, completed a trip to the region. The firing was said to continue for 15 hours straight on that occasion, till 7am today. After that, Mohd. Alam, member of Ward no.3 within Ghumdhum, said they had heard three more rounds of shelling from the air over an 8-hour period till 3pm on Tuesday. Besides, the witnesses had all been also hearing the sounds of firing taking place inside Myanmar territory, said the member. Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, has long been fighting to suppress a bloody insurgency in its bordering state of Rakhine, waged by an ethnic group calling itself the Arakan Army. In the last few months, the Myanmar army has been engaged in trying to bring about an endgame to the standoff, leading to a flare-up in the conflict that has increasingly spilled over into Bangladesh. Read: Another Bangladeshi youth loses a leg in Myanmarese landmine explosion Meanwhile in Bandarban, local businessman Md Sarwar said he along with his family and neighbours are all feeling anxious about their own security, despite knowing that Myanmar is battling a different enemy. “You can never be sure what Myanmar are up to, or what their real intentions are,” said Sarwar, speaking words that everyone may be well-advised to heed. Preferring anonymity, some BGB officials said they were beefing up security measures to tackle any untoward incident stemming from the Myanmar side. As the fighting in Rakhine has escalated, so has the scale and frequency of these incidents along the border. Since September 16, two Bangladeshi youths have lost limbs stepping on landmines laid by the Tatmadaw dangerously close to the international border. Earlier this month, a Rohingya teen named Omar Farook, resident of one of the refugee camps inside Bangladesh or occupying the No Man’s Land between two sovereign territories, was also killed in a landmine explosion. Last month another Rohingya known as Md Iqbal was killed, when Myanmar ‘mistakenly’ shelled the Zero Point Refugee Camp. That also resulted in a mini-exodus of refugees into Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Army has announced a reward of BDT 1 crore for the Bangladesh women's football team who recently won the 2022 SAFF Championship in Nepal. The Army made the announcement on Friday. Bangladesh women's football team became the undefeated champion in the 2022 SAFF Championship. They scored a total of 23 goals in this premier football tournament in South Asia, while they conceded only one goal. Bangladesh won the title by defeating the hosts Nepal 1-3 at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Read: Sabina wants to keep winning trophies playing entertaining football After returning home, the Bangladesh team was given a royal welcome. They were taken to the Bangladesh Football Federation from the airport in an open-deck bus. Along the way to the federation headquarters, thousands of supporters congratulated the team on their first SAFF title win. No other Bangladeshi team has been given such a reception before. The Bangladesh Cricket Board has announced a reward of BDT 50 lakh for them while two officials of the Bangladesh Football Federation have announced a total reward of BDT 1 crore as well. Read: SAFF women champs: Skipper Sabina given hero's welcome on return to Satkhira
To maintain regional peace and stability, the Armies of twenty-four countries have expressed solidarity to work together. The 46th Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS) - 2022 co-hosted by the Bangladesh Army and US Army Pacific (USARPAC) has come to an end with participants expressing optimism for continued peace and stability in the region. Delegates from 24 countries headed by senior military leaders attended the seminar held at a city hotel, which was scheduled from September 12-15, said a press release of Inter Services Public Relation (ISPR), signed by its Assistant Director Rashedul Alam Khan on Friday. “Twenty-four nations came together to share ideas, build relationships, and even express concerns about the security and prosperity of the world’s most consequential region, sending a powerful message of unity and collective commitment,” U.S. Army Pacific’s Gen. Charles A. Flynn told a closing ceremony.
Army chiefs of 24 countries visited a Rohingya camp in Ukhiya upazila of Cox’s Bazar district on Tuesday. They exchanged views with the displaced Rohingyas, who put their problems and recommendations to them, during the visit. Osman Goni, a Rohingya leader of camp no 11, said they don’t want to go to any third country; rather they want to go back to their own country. “We informed the army chiefs to create an environment for safe repatriation through intervention of the international community,” he said. Read: No lasting solution to Rohingya issue without repatriation Besides, representatives of different organizations of the United Nations also briefed the army chiefs regarding the Rohingyas. Earlier, the army chiefs took part in the second session of an international seminar ‘Challenges and Possibilities of maintaining peace and security in the Indo-Pacific Ocean’ at a hotel in the upazila. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the three-day seminar virtually at Radisson Blue Water Garden in the capital on Monday. Mentionable, Bangladesh has been hosting the international seminar of high-ranked army officials of the Indo-Pacific region as co-organizer for the third time after 1993 and 2014.
An army man was killed and three others were injured as a pickup van carrying them fell off the Thanchi-Alikadom Road in Headmanpara area of the district on Tuesday, said police. The deceased was identified as Shimul, 28, a soldier of 16 ECB in the Bangladesh Army. The injured - identified as soldiers Farhad, Ibrahim and the vehicle’s driver corporal Prabir, are undergoing treatment at Thanchi Hospital. Mohiuddin, sub inspector of Thanchi Police Station, said the accident occurred around 4pm when the driver of the vehicle lost control and it fell around 500 feet as it went off the road. Read: 3 BAEC officials among 6 killed in Savar road crash The accident left Shimul dead on the spot and the three others critically injured, said he adding that a process is underway to send the injured to CMCH for better treatment by a helicopter.