Nightguard dies under collapsed wall in Bogura
A 55-year-old man was killed and three others-including two children, were injured as a boundary wall collapsed on them at a madrasa in Sadar upazila’s Chakfarid area of Bogura early today. The deceased was identified as Ainul Haq, a nightguard of the Jamil Madrasa and a resident of Charnandia's village of Sirajganj. The injured are Mst. Mukta, 35, a parent of a student, and two students- Md. Hamim, 12, and Kahalur Md. Meftajul,5. ASI Abdur Rahman of Bogura Sadar police station said a team of firefighters rescued and rushed them to the Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College. Also Read: DSCC declares collapsed building in Science Lab area as 'risky' According to locals, the boundary wall had been tilting outward for several months before the accident. Legal action will be taken in accordance with the deceased’s family, police said.
Two dead, 2 injured as bus hits autorickshaw in Cumilla
Two people were dead and two were injured after a bus rammed into a battery-run auto-rickshaw in Cumilla's Daudkandi upazila on Friday morning. The deceased were identified as Yakub Ali, 30, son of Billal Hossain at Malikhil village in Daudkandi upazila, and Jotsna Begum, 55, wife of Abul Kashem in Chhotana village of Devidwar upazila. The injured Nusrat Jahan,7, and auto driver Mazarul,38, were first admitted to Gouripur Hospital. Later, they were sent to Dhaka as their condition deteriorated. Also Read: 2 killed, 15 hurt on Barishal-Patharghata highway after bus crashes into tree Md Jahangir Alam, officer-in-charge (OC) of Daudkandi Highway Police Station, said a Cumilla-bound bus of Tisha Paribahan hit the auto-rickshaw in Dighirpar area on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway around 11:30 am, leaving Jotsna Begum dead on the spot. Yakub Ali died on the way to the hospital, added the OC. Police seized the bus but its driver and helper managed to flee the scene, said the officer, adding that legal action will be taken in this regard.
Ekushey Padak winning sculptor Shamim Sikder no more
Legendary Bangladeshi sculptor Shamim Sikder passed away on Tuesday at United Hospitals in the capital, aged 70. She passed away at around 4:30 pm, renowned art curator and ARTcon founder ARK Reepon told UNB. The Ekushey Padak-winning sculptor was undergoing treatment and had long been suffering from various health complications. She was admitted to the hospital on February 19 and shifted to the CCU on March 9. Earlier, she was admitted to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases before getting admitted to the United Hospitals, after coming back home from the United Kingdom. Her body will be taken to the Dhaka University Faculty of Fine Art premises on Wednesday at 11 am, Reepon told UNB. Born on October 22, 1952, in Faridpur, Sikder enrolled at the Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts at the age of 15. At the age of 23, she moved to the Sir John Cass School of Art in London, UK. After coming back to her motherland, she served as a faculty member at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University from 1980 to 2001. After taking her retirement, she went back to London. She returned to Bangladesh seven months ago from the UK to preserve her artistic ventures; however, became unwell and hospitalised. In 1974, she built a sculpture at Dhaka Central Jail to commemorate the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. She crafted her majestic work, ‘Shoparjito Shadhinota’ at DU's TSC in 1990 and Swadhinata Sangram at the university's Fuller Road area in the capital which was inaugurated in 1999. Her other monumental works include the sculpture of Swami Vivekananda at Jagannath Hall in 1994 and many others in the home and beyond, and she has also participated in many exhibitions showcasing her majestic sculpture works. Sikder received the Prime Minister’s Award for Sculpture in 1974 and was later awarded the Ekushey Padak in 2000, among many other awards. She is survived by two children, who live in London.
Rohingya man shot dead in Cox’s Bazar Balukhali camp
A Rohingya man was shot dead by some unidentified miscreants at Balukhali Rohingya camp in Ukhiya upazila early Wednesday. The deceased, Mohammad Rashid, 35, was a resident of Balukhali Rohingya camp. Sheikh Md. Ali, Officer-in-Charge of Ukhiya Police Station, said the miscreants picked up Md. Rashid he was returning home from night duty in an NGO office and shot to death. Police recovered the body and sent it to morgue for autopsy, he added.
Lightning strike leaves carpenter dead in Kishoreganj
A carpenter was killed by a lightning strike at Charpara in Kishoreganj’s Karimganj upazila in the early hours of Wednesday. The deceased was identified as Tawhid Mia, 36, son of late Shahed Ali of the area. Shamsul Alam Siddique, officer-in-charge (OC) of Karimganj Police Station, said a streak of thunderbolt struck Tawhid while he was working on his cropland. Also Read: More rain, thundershowers likely in parts of the country Later, he was rushed to Karimganj Upazila Health Complex where doctors declared him dead, said the OC.
Youth stabbed dead by robbers in Gazipur
A youth was stabbed to death allegedly by robbers in a house at Salna Mollah Para in Gazipur city Sunday night. The deceased, Mahius Sunan Chowdhury, passed the HSC exams last year. Mehazabien Chowdhury, the deceased’s mother, said around 3:00 am a group of five-six robbers entered the house by cutting the window grill. Also Read: Three brothers stabbed dead in N'ganj “The robbers tied up her hands and feet and entered Suhan’s room. They tied him up also and looted five tolas of gold and cash after stabbing him with a sharp weapon,” she said. After the robbers left, Mehazabien went to Suhan’s room and found him dead. Ziaul Islam, officer-in-charge of Gazipur Sadar Police Station, said police were sent after receiving information about the incident. It is being investigated whether the incident was a robbery or enmity or any other matter and legal action will be taken after receiving a complaint, he said.
4 dead as microbus catches fire after accident in Mymensingh
Four people, including a child, were burned to death and seven others injured when a microbus overturned and caught fire at Rangamati on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway in Trishal upazila of the district. The deceased are Dolena Khatun, Rezia Khatun, Zarina Khatun, and seven-year-old Ashiq. Mohammad Maeen Uddin, officer-in-charge of Trishal police station, said when the microbus was heading towards Dhaka from Dhobaura upazila around 2am it overturned and caught fire. Also Read: Mother, son sustain burn injuries in explosion at N’ganj building On information, a team of firefighters went to the spot and doused the fire, said Abul Kalam, station officer of Trishal Fire Service Station. They recovered four charred bodies from inside the microbus, he said. The injured passengers were rushed to Mymensingh Medical College and Hospital and five of them are in critical condition. One of the injured was transferred to Dhaka for advanced treatment. The bodies of the victims were handed over to their families.
2 killed as pickup van hits truck in Bagerhat
Two people were killed as a pick-up van crashed into a stationary truck on Khulna-Dhaka highway at Kakdanga in Bagerhat’s Fakirhat upazila on Monday morning. One of the deceased, Nur Hossain, 21, was the helper of the pick-up van and a resident of Khalishpur area of Khulna. Another person who died was the helper of the truck but his identity couldn’t be confirmed. Also Read: Two family members dead, 4 injured in Munshiganj road accident Mehedi Hasan, officer-in-charge of Mollahat highway police station, said the accident occurred at around 4 am when the fish-laden pickup van hit the truck, leaving the two helpers dead on the spot. The truck driver fled the scene after the accident. The bodies have been kept at the upazila health complex.
Deadly shipwreck: How it happened, and unanswered questions
“Italy here we come!” cheered the young men, in Urdu and Pashto, as they filmed themselves standing on a boat sailing in bright blue waters. They were among around 180 migrants — Afghans, Pakistanis, Syrians, Iranians, Palestinians, Somalis and others — who left Turkey hoping for a better, or simply safer, life in Europe. Days later, dozens of them were dead. So far, 70 bodies have been recovered from the Feb. 26 shipwreck near the small beach town of Steccato di Cutro, but only 80 survivors have been found, indicating that the death toll was higher. On Sunday, firefighter divers spotted a further body in the Ionian Sea and were working to bring it ashore, state TV said. The tragedy has highlighted the lesser-known migration route from Turkey to Italy. It also brought into focus hardening Italian and European migration policies, which have since 2015 shifted away from search and rescue, prioritizing instead border surveillance. Questions are also being asked of the Italian government about why the coast guard wasn’t deployed until it was too late. Also Read: Migrant boat breaks up off Italian coast, killing nearly 60 Based on court documents, testimony from survivors and relatives and statements by authorities, the AP has reconstructed what is known of the events that led to the shipwreck and the questions left unanswered. ___ THE FATEFUL JOURNEY In the early hours of Wednesday, Feb. 22, the migrants — including dozens of families with small children — boarded a leisure boat on a beach near Izmir following a truck journey from Istanbul and a forest crossing by foot. They set out from the shore. But just three hours into their voyage, the vessel suffered an engine failure. Still in high seas, an old wooden gulet — a traditional Turkish style of boat — arrived as a replacement. The smugglers and their assistants told the migrants to hide below deck as they continued on their journey west. Without life vests or seats, they crammed on the floor, going out for air, or to relieve themselves, only briefly. Survivors said the second boat also had engine problems, stopping several times along the way. Three days later, on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 10:26 p.m. a European Union Border and Coast Guard plane patrolling the Ionian sea spotted a boat heading toward the Italian coast. The agency, known as Frontex, said the vessel “showed no signs of distress” and was navigating at 6 knots, with “good” buoyancy. Frontex sent an email to Italian authorities at 11:03 p.m. reporting one person on the upper deck and possibly more people below, detected by thermal cameras. No lifejackets could be seen. The email also mentioned that a satellite phone call had been made from the boat to Turkey. In response to the Frontex sighting, the case was classified as an “activity of the maritime police”. Italy’s Guardia di Finanza, or financial police, which also has a border and customs role, dispatched two patrols to “intercept the vessel.” As the Turkish boat approached Italy’s Calabrian coast on Saturday evening, some of the migrants on the boat were allowed to message family, to inform them of their imminent arrival and release the 8,000-euro fee that had been agreed upon with the smugglers. The men navigating the boat told the anxious passengers they needed to wait a few more hours for disembarkation, to avoid getting caught, according to survivors’ testimony to investigators. At 3:48 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26, the financial police vessels returned to base, without having reached the boat due to bad weather. The police contacted the coast guard to ask if they had any vessels out at sea “in case there was a critical situation” according to communication obtained by the Italian ANSA agency and confirmed by AP. The coast guard replied they did not. “OK, it was just to inform you,” a police officer said before hanging up. Just minutes later, at around 4 a.m., local fishermen on Italy’s southern coast spotted lights in the darkness. People were waving their cell phone flashlights desperately from atop a boat stuck on a sand bank. The suspected smugglers grabbed black tubes, possibly life jackets, and jumped into the water to save themselves, according to survivors. Waves continued smashing into the vessel until it suddenly ripped apart. The sound was similar to that of an explosion, survivors said. People fell into the frigid water, trying to grab onto anything they could. Many could not swim. Italian police arrived on the scene at 4:30 a.m., the same time that the coast guard says it received the first emergency calls related to the boat. It took the coast guard another hour to get there. By then, bodies were already being pulled out of the water with people screaming for help while others attempted to resuscitate the victims. ___ THE YOUNG VICTIMS There were dozens of young children on board the boat. Almost none survived. The body of a 3-year-old was recovered Saturday. Among those who lived was a Syrian father and his eldest child, but his wife and three other children did not. The body of his youngest, age 5, was still missing four days later. Shahida Raza, an athlete from Pakistan, died in the tragedy. She had hoped to reach Europe so that she could eventually bring her disabled son for the medical treatment he could not access back home. One Afghan man drove down from Germany, searching for his 15-year-old nephew who had contacted family saying he was in Italy. But the boy also died before setting foot on land. The uncle asked that his name, and that of his nephew not be published as he had yet to inform the boy’s father. The baby-faced teenager had shared a video with his family during his sea voyage, with apparently good weather. His mother had died two years ago, and with the return of the Taliban to power, the family fled to Iran. The boy later continued to Turkey from where he tried multiple times to cross into the EU. “Europe is the only place where at least you can be respected as a human being,” he said. “Everyone knows that it is 100% dangerous, but they gamble with their lives because they know if they make it they might be able to live.” ___ THE AFTERMATH Prosecutors have launched two investigations — one into the suspected smugglers and another looking at whether there were delays by Italian authorities in responding to the migrant boat. A Turkish man and two Pakistani men, among the 80 survivors, have been detained, suspected of being smugglers or their accomplices. A fourth suspect, a Turkish national, is on the run. Particular attention has been focused on why the coast guard was never sent to check on the boat. A day after the shipwreck, Frontex told AP it had spotted a “heavily overcrowded” boat and reported it to Italian authorities. In a second statement, though, Frontex clarified that only one person had been visible on deck but that its thermal cameras — “and other signs” — indicated there could be more people below. In an interview with AP, retired coast guard admiral Vittorio Alessandro said the coast guard’s boats are made to withstand rough seas and that they should have gone out. “If not to rescue, at least to check whether the boat needed any assistance.” Alessandro added that the photos released by Frontex showed the water level was high, suggesting the boat was heavy. The coast guard said Frontex alerted Italian authorities in charge of “law enforcement,” copying the Italian Coast Guard “for their awareness” only. Frontex said it is up to national authorities to classify events as search and rescue. “The issue is simple in its tragic nature: No emergency communication from Frontex reached our authorities. We were not warned that this boat was in danger of sinking,” Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni said on Saturday. “I wonder if there is anyone in this nation who honestly believes that the government deliberately let over 60 people die, including some children,” she added. Alessandro, however, lamented how over the years the coast guard’s activities — which previously occurred even far out in international waters — have been progressively curtailed by successive governments. “Rescue operations at sea should not be replaced by police operations. Rescue must prevail,” he said. In an interview with AP, Eugenio Ambrosi, chief of staff at the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration, stressed the need for a more proactive search and rescue strategy, on a European level. “We can look and debate whether the (boat) was spotted, not spotted, whether the authorities were called and didn’t respond,” he said. “But we wouldn’t be asking this question if there was a mechanism of search and rescue in the Mediterranean.”
Doctor in embattled Somaliland city says at least 145 dead
The director of a hospital in a disputed city in the Somaliland region says at least 145 people have been killed in more than two months of fighting between anti-government fighters and Somaliland security forces after local elders declared their intention to reunite with Somalia. Abdimajid Sugulle, with the public hospital in Las-Anod, told The Associated Press on Saturday that more than 1,080 other people have been wounded and over 100,000 families have fled the city of Las-Anod since late December. Most civilians have fled, he said. The director accused Somaliland forces of destroying the hospital’s laboratory, blood bank and patient ward in mortar attacks. “The Somaliland forces who are positioned outside the town have been shelling civilian residents and medical facilities indiscriminately. No single day passes without shelling and casualties,” he told the AP by phone. Somaliland’s defense ministry has denied shelling the hospital, and the government has asserted it has a “continuous commitment” to a cease-fire it declared on Feb. 10. “Indiscriminate shelling of civilians is unacceptable and must stop,” the United Nations and international partners warned last month. Somaliland separated from Somalia three decades ago and seeks international recognition as an independent country. Somaliland and the Somali state of Puntland have disputed Las-Anod for years, but the eastern city has been under Somaliland’s control. The U.N. mission in Somalia and the U.N. human rights office had said the violence in Las-Anod killed at least 80 people between Dec. 28 and Feb. 28 and more than 450 noncombatants were wounded, including medical personnel. The U.N. has called for respect for medical workers and unhindered humanitarian access. The conflict in Las-Anod began when an unidentified gunman killed a popular young politician in Somaliland’s opposition party as he left a mosque. Protests followed against Somaliland officials and forces in the city. Somaliland’s government has blamed the unrest on fighters with “anti-peace groups and terrorism” and alleged that the al-Shabab extremist group, affiliated with al-Qaida, has supported some attacks.