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Bombs Explode Across Bangladesh

From Associated Press

More than 100 homemade bombs planted by suspected Islamic militants exploded nearly simultaneously Wednesday across Bangladesh, killing two people and injuring at least 125 others.

About 50 people were arrested, a state-run news agency reported. There was no claim of responsibility, but leaflets from a banned group seeking the imposition of Islamic law were found at many scenes.

Police said the bombs apparently were designed to cause limited damage. The blasts killed a bicycle rickshaw driver in the western town of Nawabganj and a 10-year-old boy in the central town of Savar.

At least 125 people were injured in more than 100 blasts, the state-run BSS news agency reported.

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Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who had left for China before the blasts, called the attacks a “cowardly, conspiratorial and well-planned terrorist act.”

The attackers “want to realize their heinous designs by spreading panic among the people and creating instability,” the United News of Bangladesh news agency quoted Zia as saying from Beijing.

Leaflets from the Jumatul Mujahedin were found at many blast scenes, police said. The group wants to establish an Islamic state in Bangladesh, an overwhelmingly Muslim nation governed by secular laws.

The blasts went off mainly at government offices, press clubs and courts, police and Bangladeshi media reported.

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