Four tiger poachers killed in shootout with police

Members of gang poached endangered Bengal tigers and Irrawaddy dolphins

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 30 May 2019 17:15 BST
A Bengal tiger walks through the Sundarbans mangrove forest
A Bengal tiger walks through the Sundarbans mangrove forest (AFP/Getty Images)

Four tiger poachers have been killed in a shootout with police in Bangladesh.

The men were armed and travelling on a boat in the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest, when they were challenged by officers.

They opened fire on the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), sparking a gun battle, RAB spokesman Mizanur Rahman told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

Police later found four bodies, guns and ammunition on the boat.

The men were identified as members of a gang accused of poaching endangered Bengal tigers and Irrawaddy dolphins, another official, Tajul Islam, told the agency.

Around 120 people have been killed in clashes with the RAB since 2004, while another 400 have been arrested, AFP reported.

Of those, 200 surrendered their weapons to police in exchange for cash, legal aid and mobile phones.

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The Sundarbans, a Unesco world heritage site, had a population of 440 tigers in 2004, but numbers were reduced to 106 by 2015, the agency said.

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