There are reports that a gun battle is going in Dhaka at the headquarters of Bangladesh Rifles.
A gun battle has broken out inside the headquarters of the Bangladesh border guards in the capital, Dhaka, police and TV reports say.
There are no reports of any casualties yet in the gunfight at the Bangladesh Rifle headquarters, officials say.
“There has been a huge exchange of gunfire at the headquarters. We have heard mortar fire,” local police chief Nabojit Khisa told the AFP news agency.
Mr Khisa said police were not being “allowed to enter” the complex.
The Bangladesh Rifles headquarters is located in the Pilkhana area of Dhaka.
I have a report from Dhaka that there are casualties, including senior officers. It is not clear yet if this is a coup attempt or who instigated the gunbattle.
Update 2/25/2009 12:51am: Report from Dhaka is that Army is taking control. Situation is fluid. This looks and smells like a coup attempt at this point.
Update 2/25/2009 12:57am: More information from CNN:
An intense gunbattle broke out Wednesday morning inside the headquarters of Bangladesh’s border security force in the capital, Dhaka, after several security personnel apparently staged a rebellion against the head of the force, officials said.
It was not immediately clear whether the gunfire resulted in casualties, the country’s information ministry said.
The director general of the Bangladesh Rifles, Maj. Shakil Ahmed, was conducting a roll call inside the force’s headquarters when the gunfire began, the ministry said.
“It’s a serious, serious incident,” said Mohammed Sajjad Haider, spokesman for the ministry. “Some soldiers have decided to rebel. The gunfire coming from inside is so heavy that no one has been able to go inside.”
Several officers were trapped inside and their mobile phones were turned off, Haider said. “So it’s making it very difficult for us to get information on exactly what is going on right now.”
Update 2/25/2009 1:107am: Indian news outlet quotes Daily Star saying that artillery has been used and civilians have been injured:
Gunfights took place inside the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters here on Wednesday morning in which “scores of civilians were injured,” a media report said. The Daily Star reported on Wednesday that “artillery and rifles were also reportedly fired. Scores of civilians were injured in front of the BDR headquarters.”
Smoke billowed out of the BDR compound and a helicopter circled over the building, the report added.
The reason for the gunfight was not yet known.
2/25/2009 1:14am: This is being characterized as a “rebellion” of BDR junior officers. Army has deployed and may be surrounding BDR headquarters to try to quell the rebelion. Unconfirmed report that BDR chief has been injured. Lot of rumors flying and not enough facts at this point. Unheard Voice has some pictures of civilians fleeing the area.
2/25/2009 1:18am Associated Press news alert:
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — An official says authorities call out army to crush a mutiny by Bangladesh border guards.