INTERNATIONAL

Bangladesh blasts are a message, say security experts

Haroon Habib

DHAKA: Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia has termed Wednesday's serial bomb blasts across the country as "heinous acts" and urged the people to be calm. Now on a visit to China, Ms. Khaleda said in a message: "I urge the people, irrespective of political affiliations, to be calm and alert and also vocal against such heinous acts."

She described the attackers "enemies of the country, people, peace, humanity and democracy" and called the people to stand united against them. A total of 450 explosions rocked all the 64 district headquarters, between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., leaving at least two persons killed and more than 250 persons wounded on Wednesday. The 14-party Opposition alliance has called for a countrywide hartal on August 20 to condemn the attacks. Security experts and analysts said the bombings were carried out to send a message by the attackers, not to create carnage. They said the nature of the bombs and area of incidences show the attack was meant to make a show of their capacity to do harm.