Bangladesh seizes 100 rocket launchers near India border

DHAKA (AFP) - The police in north-eastern Bangladesh recovered a huge cache of illegal arms on Tuesday, including more than 100 rocket launchers, in a forest near the border with an insurgency-hit part of India.

A Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) commander in Habiganj district said they found the arms and ammunition at Satchhari forest range two days after launching a search following a tip-off.

"So far we have recovered more than 100 rocket launchers and several sacks full of ammunition and other military gadgets," RAB commander Shaminur Rahman told AFP.

"The arms and ammunition were hidden in five deep trenches in the forest. We've not completed our search yet."

The recovery comes at a time when the elite force, which has been described by New York-based Human Rights Watch as a "death squad", has been under fire over accusations that members were involved in the abduction and murder of seven people in April.

The RAB did not comment on who the consignment, one of the largest seizures in recent years, was meant for.

In 2004 10 trucks full of arms and ammunition intended for an Indian insurgent group were seized in the port city of Chittagong, the biggest-ever arms haul in Bangladesh's history.

India's remote north-eastern region, which borders Bangladesh, is home to dozens of tribal groups and small guerrilla armies fighting New Delhi's rule.

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