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21 killed in Bangladesh bombing

NARAYANGANG, Bangladesh (CNN) -- Twenty-one people were killed and more than 100 injured when a bomb blast ripped through the local offices of the country's ruling Awami League in Narayangang.

Party officials were meeting in the building when the explosion took place on Saturday evening.

Prominent legislator Shamim Osman, who was making a speech at the time, suffered hand and leg wounds.

Witnesses said the floors and walls of the building were splashed with blood and severed limbs littered the Awami League's offices in Narayangang, about 25 miles from the capital, Dhaka.

While many of the injured were admitted to hospitals in Narayangang, several others, including Osman, were driven to civil and military hospitals in Dhaka.

Bangladesh has been rocked by a string of recent bombings, including one earlier this month that killed 10 people at a Christian missionary hospital.

Police detained a man from the scene of Saturday's explosion, but did not provide any details about him, apart from identifying him by the name Liton.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pointed at right-wing parties. Conclusive links have not yet been established.

Political rivalries in this poor South Asian nation are intense and often erupt in violence ahead of elections later this year.

The current government's term of office expires July 13.

Bomb blasts are a regular occurrence in Bangladesh and have killed at least 60 people in the past two years in 10 separate attacks, according to police records.

These attacks had been blamed by Hasina on Islamic fundamentalists.

Parliament is considering a special security law to beef up protection for the prime minister because of reported threats against her life.






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