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At least 69 persons, including four soldiers, were killed in devastating landslides triggered by heavy rains in southeast Bangladesh, officials said.
Heavy rains swept through the country's three southeastern districts -- Cox's Bazaar, Bandarban and Rangamati -- and triggered huge landslides early on Tuesday.
At least 35 people died in Rangamati, 27 in Chittagong and seven in Bandarban, officials said. The death toll was expected to climb, Bdnews24.com reported.
Four army personnel were among the dead. They were killed during a rescue operation in Rangamati.
The bodies of 39 persons were retrieved, said Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya. The fire service, civil defence and police were conducting rescue operations.
Earlier, Rangamati police officer Mohammad Shahidullah said the heavy rains were disrupting rescue operations.
"The weather is very bad here and the area is hilly, so it has become very difficult for us to conduct rescue operations," he said.
Dijen Roy, a spokesperson from the Chittagong office of the Meteorological Department, said they recorded 131 mm of rain in the district in the past 24 hours. The rains were expected to continue due to a persistant depression in the Bay of Bengal, Efe news reported.
Dhaka's flood forecasting centre said water levels in all major rivers were rising, while some rivers were already flowing over their respective danger mark.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)