Bangladesh defends war on drugs as body count mounts

Bangladesh police conduct a narcotic raid in Dhaka on June 5, 2018.

(CNN)A woman prays feverishly as a gun is cocked. A shot rings out and a grunt of pain follows.

Screams fill the air as a second gunshot is heard. Then, a muffled male voice whispers as police sirens draw near.
This is from an audio recording that Ayesha Begum, a Bangladeshi mother of two, released last week. CNN hasn't been able to verify it.
Begum says the 15-minute recording captures the last moments of her husband Akramul Haque on May 27 in Cox's Bazar as she spoke to him by phone from another city.
    A local official, Haque was shot dead by Bangladesh's Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an elite crime-fighting unit. Authorities say he was a drug dealer. His family maintain he was a district leader who had spoken out about the narcotics trade.
    Haque is just one of the 130 people who have been killed in the last three weeks by law enforcement agencies in Bangladesh, the United Nations said, as the country cracks down on the drug trade.
    Begum is demanding a judicial probe into the death of her husband.
    "(My daughters) they lost their father," she added.
    Akramul Haque and his two daughters

    Drug problem

    Bangladesh has been struggling with a narcotics problem for years, with amphetamines flooding the market and dealers targeting young people.
    On May 15, the Bangladeshi government launched an unprecedented drive to clean the streets of dealers and suppliers. Some 15,000 people have been arrested in nationwide raids in just the past three weeks, Sahely Ferdous, Bangladesh Police told CNN.
    The campaign has been likened to President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal drug war in the Philippines and human rights group have accused the government of extrajudicial killings.
    They want Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government to halt the anti-drug drive and provide each citizen with due process.