Bomb at Muslim shrine in Bangladesh kills two

Saturday, May 22, 2004

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- A bomb exploded during noon prayers Friday at a Muslim shrine in northeastern Bangladesh, killing two Bangladeshi men and wounding about 100 people, including the British ambassador, police and witnesses said. British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury was taken to Osmani Medical College Hospital in Sylhet. He suffered an injury to his right leg that did not appear to be serious, the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Choudhury was flown to the capital, Dhaka, by military helicopter after his treatment. Choudhury, a 44-year-old Bangladeshi-born Briton, was visiting the shrine after assuming his post last week. No one claimed responsibility for the blast at the Hazrat Shahjalal shrine in Sylhet, 120 miles northeast of Dhaka, a police official said on condition of anonymity.

No arrests have been made. Prime Minister Khaleda Zia conveyed her sympathy to the wounded and ordered an immediate investigation.

In London, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he was "shocked" by the attack. He said he had no further details of the incident.

In January, a bomb killed five worshippers at the shrine. Police had no suspects despite questioning more than 20 people detained after the blast.

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