Six injured as bombs thrown at Bangladesh navy mosque

CHITTAGONG (AFP) - Two bombs exploded at a mosque inside a navy base in the Bangladesh port city of Chittagong on Friday (Dec 18), injuring six, police said, adding that two people had been arrested.

Police said the mosque inside the Isha Khan naval base in the southeastern city was packed with Muslim worshippers attending Friday prayers when several bombs were thrown.

"Of the five bombs thrown at the mosque, two exploded. They looked like small grenades. Six people were injured," Deputy Commissioner of the Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) Harun Ur Rashid Hazari told AFP.

Two people were arrested at the scene but no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, he said.

Chittagong police chief Abdul Jalil Mandal confirmed the attack, saying the bombs were thrown towards the end of the weekly prayers.

Bangladesh has been roiled by rising unrest which has seen four atheist bloggers and a publisher hacked to death this year.

Two foreigners have also been shot dead - a Japanese farmer and an Italian aid worker - while several minority Sufi Muslim leaders and two policemen have been killed.

Police blame an outlawed Islamist militant group, Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh, for the recent violence while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government accuses the main opposition party and its Islamist ally of trying to trigger anarchy.

The parties deny the claims.

Analysts say Islamist militants pose a growing danger in conservative Bangladesh and that a long-running political crisis has radicalised opponents of the government.

There was no official comment from the Navy or the country's armed forces on Friday's attack.