Bangladesh to S.Africa; extradite grenade specialist Maulana Tajuddin

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Oct. 28 : The Bangladesh Government has requested South Africa to expedite the process of extradition of Maulana Tajuddin, a key accused in August 21 grenade attack case of 2004.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam made the request at a meeting held yesterday in Bali with South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Nomaindiya Mfeketo on the sidelines of the 16th Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) meeting, reports the Dhaka Tribune.

In reply to the request, the South African Deputy Minister reiterated her government's willingness to cooperate in this regard.

Alam also requested his counterpart to actively consider opening a South African resident diplomatic mission in Dhaka at the earliest to facilitate people-to-people exchange.

Both the leaders agreed on further strengthening and consolidating the ties between the two countries in diverse fields.

Tajuddin is a fugitive and is reportedly hiding in South Africa. The August 21 attack targeted an Awami League rally, where leader of opposition at the time Sheikh Hasina was the chief speaker.

Reports said that 13 to 14 grenades were detonated on the day and over 500 people were injured. Among those killed in the blasts was Bangladesh Mohila Awami League president Ivy Rahman, wife of senior Awami League leader Zillur Rahman.

The attack left Sheikh Hasina with hearing problems. On the sidelines of the IORA meeting, Alam also met with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and called on her government to remove air-cargo restrictions in full.

He also notified Julie that the Bangladesh government as doing everything to secure the country, its economy and its guests from act of terrors.

Source: ANI