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Bangladesh kills 13 drug dealers in major crackdown

Bangladesh police have shot dead 13 drug traffickers and arrested thousands in an aggressive campaign against the surging trade in methamphetamines and other narcotics, officers said Sunday.
Four drug dealers were killed early Sunday in separate raids, police said, while the elite Rapid Action Battalion said its forces had killed nine others since Tuesday.
Around 2,300 suspected drug traffickers and users had been arrested, the battalion said, in raids since early May. An estimated $2.5 million worth of drugs had been seized.
Authorities last week warned traffickers to surrender or face the full force of the law.
Police have vowed to stamp out drugs, most notably"yaba", a popular street pill made of caffeine and methamphetamine that is doing a roaring trade in Bangladesh.
The alleged dealers all died in what authorities described as shootouts, but parallels have been drawn to the Philippines where police have been accused of executing suspects."We have spoken to families of some victims. They said the victims were killed extrajudicially,"said Nasiruddin Elan from local rights group Odhikar.
Officials say the bulk of the drugs entering Bangladesh last year were brought by Rohingya refugees fleeing a military crackdown in Myanmar.
The drugs were being stashed on fishing boats bringing the persecuted civilians into Bangladesh.

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