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3 killed in Bangladesh-Indian border guards cross fire
www.chinaview.cn 2005-04-17 13:53:47

    DHAKA, April 17 (Xinhuanet) -- At least three Bangladeshis including a girl were killed in a fierce encounter between Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) along Bangladeshi eastern border on Saturday.

    According to the Daily Star on Sunday, BDR forces encountered its Indian counterpart BSF at Akhaura upazila (sub-district) bordering the Indian state Tripura on Saturday afternoon. The border guards of the two neighboring countries exchanged fire and both sides used sophisticated firearms during the shootout.

    Thousands of locals of Bangladeshi villagers have fled their homes fearing further gunfight, according to local administration and police.

    The BDR and BSF reinforced their positions along the border following the clash. The two sides later sat in a short meeting onSaturday night and agreed to a ceasefire.

    This is the second crossfire this year between the two border forces. They traded heavy gunfire at northwestern Singimari frontier over the construction of barbed-wire fences by the Indians on March 9, 2005.

    Meanwhile, the director general-level border talks between BDR and BSF ended on Saturday in Dhaka, reported the Daily Star.

    Meeting sources revealed shifting from its stance on April 13, the first day of the conference, the Indian side expressed its determination to continue with barbed-wire border fencing.

    BSF's Director General RS Mooshahary told the media after the first day's talks that they would use diplomatic channels to resolve the conflicts over fencing in areas where religious or educational institutions are located within 150 yards of the zero-line.

    Mooshahary, however, was quoted as saying on Saturday that BSF will just inform BDR where there is a compulsion -- within 150 yards of the zero-line, but the barbed-wire fencing process will continue. He said BSF also will keep the diplomatic channels open,but did not elaborate.

    BDR Director General Major General Jahangir Alam Chowdhury saidthe Bangladeshi side has not changed its position and will continue protesting against construction of barbed-wire fences in any area within 150 yards of the zero-line, since it is a violation of the 1974 agreement between the two countries.

    About the conference, the BSF chief said both sides developed greater understanding and that it would help them remove the existing irritants between the two forces, adding the BDR's approach at the meeting was constructive and positive towards maintaining peace and harmony and for border management.

    The next round of BDR-BSF talks will take place in Delhi at sometime in September or early October. Enditem


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