Ashura Bangladesh
Shi'ite Muslims bath a horse with milk during an Ashura procession in DhakaReuters

Three bombs, detonated in the midst of a gathering of Shia Muslims in Old Dhaka, have left at least one person killed and 80 injured early on Saturday, according to media reports.

The bombs were detonated outside Old Dhaka's Hussaini Dalan. The Shias were gathering to take out theirMuharram procession on Saturday on the occasion of the sacred day of Ashura.

The bomb attack took took place at around 2am, Chawk Bazar Police Station OC Aziz Ahmed told bdnews24.com. The victim of the blast was a young boy, Dhaka Medical College Hospital sources said.

RAB Additional Director General Ziaul Ahsan said these were hand-made bombs hurled at the gathering. Chawk Bazar Police Station Sub-Inspector Jahangir Hossain said two suspects were arrested at the scene of the blasts.

Reuters, citing witnesses, said that people ran frantically after the blasts, losing their flip-flops and sandals as they scattered.

"It is our apprehension that blasts were carried out only to panic the people and to create a chaotic situation," Colonel Ziaul Ahsan, an additional director general of the elite Rapid Action Battalion, told reporters.

DMCH police camp's Sub Inspector Mozammel Haque said at least 44 people wounded in the blasts were hospitalised. Mitford Hospital's emergency ward doctor Masudur Rahman said that 31 injured people came to the hospital and more were still coming in. He said none of them was in critical condition.

Police and law-enforcement outfits had been on high alert in Dhaka for Durga Puja on Thursday and for Ashura.

According to a leader of the Shia community, there were 20,000 to 25,000 people in the crowd. Police and RAB personnel checked the venue at the Hussaini Dalan before the procession. Then the explosions took place," he told bdnews24.com.