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Air force to tackle Dhaka mosquitoes

Dhaka, Feb. 19 (Reuters): The Bangladesh air force is being asked to combat a tiny aerial enemy — swarming mosquitoes that have provoked stinging criticism from the citizens of Dhaka.

The defence ministry said it would supply a small plane or helicopter so authorities can begin spraying the capital with insecticide early next month to banish the mosquitoes.

“The air force has agreed to sanction an aircraft following our decision,” Dhaka’s mayor, Sadeque Hossain Khoka, said today. The mosquitoes have been blamed for many a sleepless night in the capital of more than 10 million, riddled with open sewers and swampy areas.

Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia, who is also in charge of the defence ministry, took the decision after meeting Air Vice-Marshall Fakrul Azam and mayor Khoka yesterday.

Authorities hope the campaign will also avert an outbreak of mosquito-borne dengue fever, which claimed 30 lives in and around Dhaka last year.

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