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4 dead over offensive Facebook post in Bangladesh


Protesters in Bhola, Bangladesh against a Facebook post disrespectful of Prophet Muhammad


Dhaka: At least four people were killed and 47 others injured as police clashed with a Muslim mob in Bangladesh's Bhola district over an offensive Facebook post.

The clash erupted at around 11 a.m. on Sunday when hundreds of local Muslims gathered in a field demanding the trial of a Hindu man, who allegedly made some disrespectful comments over Prophet Muhammad on the social media platform on Friday, Efe news quoted the police as saying.

"A Hindu man made disrespectful comments over Prophet, he was arrested. But protesters gathered today demanding his immediate trial," said police inspector Salahuddin Miah of Bhola.

"The protesters had been assured that the accused was taken to the custody and legal process against him was underway. But they did not listen to us and started raining down brickbats at law enforcers," he said.

"Police fired tear shells in self defence but the mob could not be controlled, Later in presence of magistrate police fired blank shots, four people died and scores were injured," the inspector added.

Bhola district civil surgeon Rathindranath Roy told Efe news that 47 injured persons were admitted to the district general hospital.

Authorities said that additional security forces have been deployed to control the situation

"We have sent one platoon force by helicopter to the spot. Three other platoon forces are joining them by road," said Border Guard Bangladesh spokesman Shariful Islam.

Sectarian violence is not very uncommon in Bangladesh, where Muslims make up over 90 per cent of the 160 million-strong population.

Protests broke out towards the end of October in 2016 in Brahmanbaria district due to the publication of a photo montage on Facebook.

The photomontage, which spread like wildfire, showed the Hindu god Shiva in the "Kaaba" in Mecca.

Since the controversy broke out, some 200 temples, houses and businesses belonging to Hindus had been vandalized across Bangladesh.

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