>Bangladesh war crimes stir tension

>AS Bangladesh’s bloody war of independence from Pakistan came to its end, Dr MA Hassan went in search of his brother, BBC’s Mark Dummett writes.
He was afraid that Selim, who like him was an officer in the pro-liberation forces, had been killed in one of the last battles of the conflict, and he wanted to recover his corpse.
He didn’t find it, but as he stumbled through a marsh at the northern edge of Dhaka, he came across a horrific scene.
“That day, 31 January 1972, I saw a few hundred bodies, mutilated dead bodies, littered all around that place,” he recalled. “There were marks of torture on every body; nails turned out, eyes gouged out, hearts taken out.”
He added: “Some were female, their breasts were amputated, private parts mutilated. I had to push the bodies one by one to make my way. Mostly they were the innocent public.”
At that time, hundreds of other mass graves were also being discovered across the newly independent country. This followed a nine-month war when the Pakistani army tried to bludgeon the citizens of its eastern province into renouncing their dreams of self-rule.
The crisis was precipitated when East Pakistanis (who later became Bangladeshis) voted overwhelmingly in favour of autonomy and West Pakistan responded by sending in its army.


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