A bomb exploded outside a scrap metal shop in Bangladesh's capital, injuring three workers, police said Tuesday. The blast in Dhaka's Lalbagh commercial district occurred late Monday as the workers were unloading a cargo of scrap metal from a tricycle rickshaw, a police official said on condition of anonymity in line with official policy. One injured man was being treated in a hospital, while the two others were released after treatment for minor injuries, the official said. He said police were investigating whether the bomb was hidden in the metal scrap or thrown at the workers. The shop's owner, Anwarul Islam, said he suspected the bomb was tossed by extortionists who had called a day earlier to demand money.
No one has been arrested. Bangladesh has been shaken by a spate of bombings blamed on militants who seek to introduce harsh Islamic rule in the Muslim-majority nation, now governed by secular laws.
Bomb attacks killed 14 people and wounded dozens in two Bangladesh towns last week. Authorities have detained and questioned about 200 suspects, including 44 men picked up in a sweep across the country late Monday, police investigators said Tuesday. The investigators declined to be identified as they are not authorized to comment publicly.
They said many of the detainees were picked up from Islamic schools and allegedly belong to the banned Islamic group Jumatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, which is suspected in the bombings. So far, no one has been officially charged with any offense, reports the AP. I.L.