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Mass grave found after Bangladesh mutiny

  • Story Highlights
  • Mass grave found with bodies of at least 40 Bangladesh army officers
  • At least 62 officers found dead since mutiny by paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles
  • Rifles laid down arms Thursday after PM agreed to offer them amnesty
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By Saeed Ahmed
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(CNN) -- At least 40 bodies -- all of them wearing uniforms identifying them as army officers -- have been found in a mass grave inside the headquarters of the Bangladesh Rifles paramilitary in the capital, Dhaka, authorities said Friday.

Bangladeshi army soldiers gather near the Bangladesh Rifles headquarters in Dhaka Thursday.

Bangladeshi army soldiers gather near the Bangladesh Rifles headquarters in Dhaka Thursday.

The discovery brings to at least 62 the number of army officers who have been found dead after mutinous paramilitary forces took dozens of superiors hostages at the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters on Wednesday.

The Rifles laid down their arms after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina agreed to grant them amnesty.

The bodies were found in a grave behind the mortuary building inside the BDR compound in the Pilkhana area of Dhaka, said Cmdr. Abdul Kalam Azad with the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an elite internal security team that is helping with the recovery effort.

"It's a bad scene," Azad said. "You can only see their legs. We're carrying away only as many as we can fit in ambulances. Then we're going to go look for more."

Earlier, 22 bodies had been recovered from the Buriganga River after the rebelling troops dumped them down a sewer during the standoff, authorities said.

The Rifles took their superiors -- all military men -- hostage Wednesday morning after a rebellion they said was spurred by years of their grievances not being addressed.

Discontent had been bubbling for years among the ranks of the BDR troops, a 65,000-strong paramilitary outfit primarily responsible for guarding the country's borders. Video Watch how the paramilitary revolt spread »


The recruits complained their army superiors dismissed their appeals for more pay, subsidized food and opportunities to participate in U.N. peacekeeping operations.

Bangladesh and its South Asian neighbors contribute the most troops to such U.N. operations. And the pay is far greater than the meager salary the jawans -- as the BDR troops are called -- make.

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