A mutiny by Bangladesh's border guard unit, the
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), resulted in heavy combat in the
capital city of Dhaka on February 25, 2009, as the
mutineers battled against troops loyal to the government.
The reasons for the revolt were speculated to involve
issues of pay and living conditions, though a new
government took office in January of 2009, and the
rebellion may be politically motivated. The BDR is a
military force of some 42,000 troops whose main task is
to guard the nation's very long border.
By the end of the first day of the mutiny, the
government reported nearly 50 deaths as a result of the
fighting, including senior commanders of the Bangladesh
Rifles. The officers apparently died as lower-ranking
soldiers took the officers hostage at the beginning of
the mutiny.The rebel troops also took control of a
shopping mall near their Dhaka barracks. By Thursday, the
second day of the rebellion, reports indicated that the
mutiny had spread across the country to involve military
barracks throughout Bangladesh.
As the violence spread, mutineers rebelled in the
southern town of Tekhnaf early Thursday, forcing the unit
commander to flee. Violence also erupted at Bangladesh
Rifle bases in Cox's Bazar, Chittagong and Naikhongchari
in the south, Sylhet in the northeast, Rajshahi and
Naogaon in the northwest. Bangladeshi television stations
reported border guard rebellions in 12 of the 64 border
districts where the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) is
After the government sent armored units of the army
into the capital, the rebels in Dhaka surrendered, but
reports of continued violence around the country
By the end of the second day, violence ended as the
mutineers surrendered. At least 148 people died, most of
them military officers.
In October, 2012, a military court found 723 of the
border guards of the former Bangladeshi Rifles (BDR)
guilty of "joining and leading the mutiny," and imposed
jail sentences on the mutineers.