By Anisur Rahman
Dhaka, Aug 18 A student leader and a government employee were among seven people killed today in clashes between two rival factions of a regional political party in Bangladesh's southeastern hill tracts, police said.
The incident occurred at a village market in Swanirbhar area of Khagrachhari district when members of United People's Democratic Front (UPDF), an ethnic minority political group, had gathered to stage a rally, they said.
A clash broke out between members of the two rival factions of UPDF, which subsequently turned violent after the members started firing, police said.
Six people, including a local student leader and a government health employee who was passing by the area, were killed in the attack, they said.
The deceased student leader has been identified as Tapan Chakma, the district unit president of UPDF-backed student group, Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP).
Four hours later, firing took place between the members of the two groups again at Khagrachhari town in which an UPDF activist was killed and four pedestrians were injured, police said.
"It appears that the attack took place due to factional infight over establishing dominance in the region," Khagrachhari Sadar police station chief Shahadat Hossain told .
No arrest has been made so far.
Police have launched a manhunt for the assailants and deployed extra personnel in the area to prevent further violence, Hossain said.
UPDF's district coordinator Michael Chakma accused a breakaway faction of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti (PCJSS), dubbed as PCJSS-Reform, for both the attacks. However, the group refuted the claims. AR SCY SCY