A group of unidentified arsonists set fire to two covered vans and detonated a hand bomb before fleeing the scene in Gazipur amid a hartal and transport blockade called by the BNP ahead of the 12th national elections.
The fire destroyed the vehicles’ front ends, but no casualties were reported in the incident that occurred on the Dhaka bypass highway in the district’s Jajhor area around 6:15 am on Thursday, said Gacha Police Station chief Md Shah Alam.
“A group of around 15 attackers stopped the covered vans, owned by Labib Group and DBL, in the Jajhor area. They threw petrol onto the vehicles and set them aflame. They detonated a hand bomb and fled the scene.”
Khademul Islam, the driver of the vehicle owned by DBL, said he was travelling to Narayanganj from Kashimpur. The attackers blocked the highway with eight motorcycles and instructed him to stop the vehicle.
“They hurled brickbats and destroyed the vehicle’s front end when I stopped. They fled after pouring petrol on the vehicle and lighting a fire. I got cuts on my hands,” Khademul said.
Two firefighting units brought the flames under control half an hour after the attack, said Abdullah Al Arefin, deputy assistant director of Gazipur Fire Service.
The incident will be investigated and legal action will be taken against the culprits, Alam said.