Briefly: Asia

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Military says it foiled coup plot

DHAKA — The Bangladeshi military said Thursday it foiled a plot by a group of hard-line officers, their retired colleagues and Bangladeshi conspirators living abroad to overthrow Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The coup attempt underscored tension between Mrs. Hasina’s government and elements of the military that has lingered since a 2009 mutiny.

Brig. Gen. Muhammad Masud Razzaq told a news conference the military has specific evidence that up to 16 current and former Bangladeshi military officers “with extreme religious views” were involved in the “heinous conspiracy.”

The plot was instigated by Bangladeshi conspirators living abroad, he added.

Two retired officers — Lt. Col. Ehsan Yusuf and Maj. Zakir — have been arrested, Gen. Razzaq said, but he did not say when. Authorities also are looking for another fugitive serving officer, Maj. Ziaul Haq.

Gen. Razzaq said Maj. Haq fled his post after the arrest of Col. Yusuf and Maj. Zakir.


Suicide attack kills seven at airport

KANDAHAR — A suicide bomber killed at least seven people and wounded eight Thursday in an attack at Kandahar international airport in war-torn southern Afghanistan, officials said.

Women and children were among the casualties, and pools of blood and body parts were scattered around the burned-out wreckage of six vehicles at the scene of the attack, an Agence France-Presse reporter said.

A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force said there were no ISAF casualties and he had no information that military vehicles were involved.

The Taliban, the militia leading a 10-year insurgency against the Afghan government and tens of thousands of NATO troops, claimed responsibility. Spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi told AFP the target was “the bulletproof vehicles of foreign forces.”

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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