12:00 AM, January 27, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 27, 2013

40 injured as AL, BNP lock in armed clash

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Our Correspondent, Barisal

Over 40 people were injured during a clash between the activists of Awami League and BNP in Shayestabad area under Barisal Sadar upazila on Thursday night.
The trouble began when Shayestabad Union Parishad (UP) Vice Chairman and local BNP leader Shamim Hawladar along with his party men went to Ramkathi Government Primary School ground adjacent to the house of UP Chairman and AL leader Arifuzzaman Munna at around 8:00pm to have a picnic there.
Locals said AL men led by Munna swooped on the BNP men, prompting them to retaliate. The rival political groups used sharp weapons and exchanged fire during the clash that continued for four hours, they added.
Four houses of local BNP men were also vandalised during the clash.
Of the injured, UP Chairman and AL leader Arifuzzaman Munna, Shahidul Zamaddar, Nasir and Basir, were admitted to Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital with bullet injuries while the rest to different hospitals and clinics in the city.
Barisal City Corporation Mayor Shawkat Hossain Hiron visited the injured at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital on Friday.
Being informed, police and Rab personnel went to the spot, dispersed the clashing groups and brought the situation under control. They picked up 51 people, including UP Vice Chairman and BNP leader Shamim, from the spot.
Md Ibrahim, member of Ward No-7 of the UP, said at least 20-25 gunshots were fired and over 50 people injured during the clash.
Contacted, Rafiqul Islam, officer-in-charge of Kawnia Police Station, said they found a gun with six cartridges on the spot and arrested 51 people, including UP Vice Chairman Shamim.
UNB adds: Awami League and BNP men clashed over capture of a khas pond at Ratankandi village in Shahjadpur upazila of Sirajganj yesterday, injuring at least 13 people.
Police said there had been a longstanding dispute between two groups- one led by local AL leader Rashid and another by local BNP leader Juran--over taking possession of the pond.
The clash ensued when Juran and Rashid groups went to the spot to take possession of the pond at around 9:00am.
They made chase and counter chase and hurled brick chips at each other. Police went to the spot and brought the situation under control.
Three houses were also vandalised in the area during the clash. Five of the injured were admitted to Sirajganj General Hospital while the rest given first aid. No case was filed with the police station concerned as of 6:00pm yesterday.

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