Bangladesh vows to guard Buddhists
DHAKA - Agence France PresseBangladesh sent in troops to guard Buddhist neighborhoods yesterday after Muslim mobs carried out fresh attacks on temples and homes over a Facebook photo deemed offensive to Islam.
At least six temples were attacked in different neighborhoods of the resort region of Cox’s Bazaar on late Sept. 30, with thousands of protestors smashing statues of Lord Buddha before riot police used force to repel the crowds. The weekend violence was sparked by claims that a young Buddhist man had posted a photo allegedly defaming the Quran on Facebook.
Police said that 107 people had been arrested in connection with the violence over the weekend. At least five homes were torched in the overnight violence which came after a 25,000-strong mob ran riot in Ramu, a village in the district of Cox’s Bazaar, on Sept. 29 night, smashing temples and setting fire to dozens of homes.Bangladesh’s Interior Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir visited Ramu, assuring the Buddhist community that the attacks would be thoroughly investigated and they would receive compensation to rebuild their temples and homes. Buddhists, who make up less than one percent of Bangladesh’s 153 million population, are based mainly in southeastern districts, close to the border with Buddhist-majority Myanmar.