Accidents & Fires
Mosque Explosion

Perfume container might have caused it: CTTC unit

The blast inside a room of Noakhali's Begumganj Model Mosque on Tuesday might have been caused by a perfume container, said Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit.

"We are almost certain that the incident occurred due to a body-spray container exploding," Rahmat Ullah Chowdhury, in-charge of CTTC's Bomb Disposal Unit, told The Daily Star yesterday, hours after his team visited the scene.

However, an officer of another agency, which also examined the scene, said, "No gas supply line was in the room where the explosion took place. There was no electric short circuit as well. So, primarily it is suspected that cocktail or gun-powder stored there caused the explosion."

"It was not a normal fire incident. It was a small explosion. We have collected evidence from the spot," said Maj Moshiur Rahman, deputy director of the Bomb Disposal Unit of Rab.

"We are investigating whether it was an act of sabotage," he told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, a Noakhali court yesterday sent the Islamic Foundation's field supervisor Abdul Halim, who was arrested on Wednesday night over the explosion, to jail.

"We suspect that the explosion occurred from something in his [Halim] bag," said Md Shahidul Islam, superintendent of police in Noakhali.

Halim claimed to police that there was a body-spray bottle in his bag, not any explosive substance, said the SP.

Abdul Halim, the 37-year-old from Khagrachhari, was assigned to take care of the mosque, and he used to reside in it.

Earlier on Tuesday night, an explosion took place on the first floor of a model mosque at Begumganj upazila's Alipur. Three window glasses, two doors and the room's ceiling were damaged. However, none was hurt.Meanwhile, the district administration yesterday formed a five-member probe body, headed by Noakhali's Additional District Magistrate Tamanna Mahmud, to investigate the explosion.

The committee was asked to submit a report by three working days, said Dewan Mahbubur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Noakhali.

[Our Noakhali correspondent contributed to the report]