Today's Paper

15 killed in blasts in Bangladesh theatres

DHAKA DEC. 7. Fifteen persons were killed and over 200 film-goers injured in serial bomb blasts in four cinema halls in Mymensingh district town, 100 km from here, today.

All the `powerful' bombs blew up in the jam-packed cinema halls one after another and within a few minutes after the first one was thrown in `Ajanta' cinema, which had started screening a film shortly after 6 p.m., the State-run BTV said.

The BTV reported 11 deaths while other media, including the UNB news agency, put the casualties at 15. Local journalists and district officials said the toll might go up as the condition of many of the injured was critical.

The Army rushed in to provide emergency medical facilities for the critically injured as all the hospitals and private clinics in the town were overflowing with the wounded.

This is the first major serial bomb attack on cinema halls since the one in western Satkhira district town, bordering West Bengal, a few months ago when unidentified attackers hurled bombs at a cinema hall and a circus show, killing and injuring a few dozens.

Officials did not want to blame any particular group for the blasts but said it was "a planned attack.''

The attacks come in the midst of ``Operation Clean Heart'', a countrywide Army crackdown on criminals mounted on November 17.

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