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    Bangladesh Celebrates 40th Independence Day

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    Bangladesh celebrates its 40th Independence Day with an appearance by the King of Bhutan. The occasion marks the separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan.

    On Saturday, Bangladeshis celebrated their 40th Independence Day with a colorful parade and dance performances in the capital city of Dhaka.

    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the celebration at the national stadium.

    A 31-gun salute marked the beginning of the day's programs. Sheikh Hasina and the King of Bhutan released pigeons to inaugurate the stadium ceremony.

    [Iyana Chambu Gong, Celebrating Independence Day]:
    "Today is our independence day, forty years after our country was liberated. So I have come here to join in celebrating this day."

    People across the nation of 162 million observed the occasion and paid homage to the independence martyrs.

    The March 26 celebrations mark the separation of Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, from Islamabad.

    Three million people died in a nine-month war that ended with the allied army forcing the then Pakistani military junta to surrender on December 16, 1971.