2004 Dhaka grenade attack
|2004 Dhaka Grenade Attacks|
|Location||Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka, Bangladesh|
|Date||21 August 2004
|Target||Awami League rally in response to 7th August Sylhet bombings|
The 2004 Dhaka grenade attack took place at an anti-terrorism rally organised by Awami League on Bangabandhu Avenue on 21 August 2004. The attack left 24 dead and more than 300 injured. The attack was carried out at 5.22 PM after Sheikh Hasina then leader of opposition finished addressing a crowd of 20,000 people from the back of a truck. The attacks targeted Awami League president Sheikh Hasina. Hasina was injured in the attack.
Events and casualties
Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina had been speaking at a public meeting on Bangabandhu Avenue, protesting blasts against the party's workers in Sylhet. The rally drew a crowd of 20,000 people. As Hasina finished her speech, a total of 13 grenades were thrown into the crowd from the rooftops of nearby buildings, killing at least 16 people on spot, later the death toll reached 24. The blast left more than 200 injured. Among the dead were Hasina's bodyguard, Mahbubur Rahman and Awami League Women's Affairs Secretary Ivy Rahman, who died from her injuries three days later.
Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) leader Mufti Abdul Hannan was arrested for the grenade attacks in 2007, and was later charged in connection with it. He reportedly confessed to the attacks in November 2007. He was sentenced to death in December 2008 for attempting to kill Anwar Choudhury in 2004. In March 2012, the son of opposition leader and former prime minister Khaleda Zia, Tarique Rahman, and 28 others were tried in absentia for their alleged involvement in the attack.The supplementary charge sheets charges Huji, influential leaders of the BNP and the Jamaat, and some officials of the Home Ministry, police, Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), National Security Intelligence (NSI) and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) with involvement in the planning of the bombing.
The Awami League called for a nationwide hartal on 23 and 24 August 2004 following the incident. Begum Khaleda Zia, then Prime Minister of Bangladesh condemned the attacks, and also vowed a thorough probe to catch the culprits.
Jamal Ahmed, also known as Joj Mia was coerced into giving a false confession. He was forced to implicate Seven-Star Group, led by Subrata Bain through torture by security forces during Bangladesh Nationalist Party rule.
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