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Five killed, 50 hurt in Bangladesh bomb blast
Updated: 2005-12-08 15:59

At least five people were killed and more than 50 wounded in Bangladesh on Thursday when two bombs exploded during the morning rush hour on a crowded street in a northern town, police said.

The bombs went off within the space of a few minutes in Netrokona, 360 km (220 miles) from the capital Dhaka.

Police said the wounded included three policemen. Many of the victims were people on their way to work at offices, colleges and markets, witnesses said.

No one claimed responsibility for the blasts, but police blamed Islamist suicide bombers fighting for the introduction of sharia law in the mainly Muslim democracy.

"Two of the dead including a woman have been identified, but identities of the rest are yet to be ascertained," one police officer said.

"We have reasons to believe that one among the dead was a suicide bomber, who arrived on the spot on a bicycle just moments before the blast," he added.

Thursday's deaths took the number of people killed by suspected suicide bombers to 25 in three weeks, including judges, lawyers and policemen.

Bangladesh has been hit by a wave of bomb attacks since August by militants of banned groups, including the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, which seeks to turn mainly Muslim Bangladesh into a sharia-based Islamic state.

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