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Tuesday 20th of January 2015 A- A+

Mother, daughter burnt in midnight bus arson at Rajshahi

A mother and her daughter at Rajshahi have suffered serious burns after a petrol bomb was hurled at their bus during the ongoing BNP-sponsored blockade. The Dhaka-bound bus had police escort when it came under attack at the city’s Bhadra Bhangripatti area at Monday midnight. The BGB was also covering its passage, when the bomb was hurled and those responsible fled immediately. Two more bus passengers were injured when they tried to exit the flaming bus in panic, said Boalia Police OC Khandaker Noor Hossain. The mother, identified as Ambia Begum, 45 and her daughter ‘Rifat’, 17, have been taken to Rajshahi Medical College's Burn Unit with the others who were injured. The petrol bomb burnt Ambia Begum’s hands and a portion of her face. Rifat has also suffered burns on her left arm. The other injured are ‘Sufian’, 50 and his son Mainul, ‘20’. The Shishir Enterprise bus was among 15 other vehicles on their way to Dhaka which had police escort. Two other buses and a truck were just behind it, said OC Noor Hossain. The attack came just moments after they left Rajshahi terminal at midnight. “Several miscreants threw the petrol bomb from an alley. It smashed through the bus’s window and set fire to six seats. The mother and her daughter suffered burns immediately.” The passengers put out the fire before the fire fighters arrived. Ambia Begum was taking ‘Rifat’, a first semester student at Dhaka Polytechnic Institute, to the capital for her test, despite the violent blockade. Rakibul Hossain, another polytechnic student in the bus, described the ordeal. Heavy smoke filled the bus after it was hit by the bomb. He said he and other passengers seated at the back jumped out of the windows. Hossain said he was slightly injured when he broke the vehicle’s windows to help three more passengers get out. Hossain and another student were put on another bus, said the Boalia Police OC. The indefinite blockade was called by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Jan 5. Nearly 25 people have been killed and hundreds of vehicles damaged during the violent anti-government campaign. Five people died when a Dhaka-bound bus was targeted with a petrol bomb at Rangpur’s Mithapukur in the early hours of Jan 14. --bdnews24.com

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