Bangladesh on Sunday celebrated its 36th Independence Day to pay tributes to martyrs sacrificing their lives for national independence.
The country's former eastern wing of Pakistan declared independence on March 26, 1971 as the then former military rulers declined to hand over power to Awami League led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman even though his party won 1970 general elections.
The independence of Bangladesh was formally declared on March 26, leading to the nine-month Liberation War and resulting in the emergence of the sovereign state.
Three million martyrs embraced martyrdom during the all-out guerrilla warfare for independence.
Sunday's celebration began with 31-gun salute at dawn and President Prof. Iajuddin Ahmed, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, her cabinet colleagues, foreign diplomats and all other political parties and general people paid tributes to the martyrs placing floral wreaths at the National Memorial in Savar, 25 km west of the capital at the sunrise.
On this public holiday, national flag was hoisted atop all public and private buildings and vehicles.
President Iajuddin Ahmed took salute at a ceremonial march-past by contingents of freedom fighters, armed force, para-military Bangladesh Rifle, police and other forces in the capital's parade ground.
Bangladeshi airforce plane and helicopters flew on the sky of the capital.
President, prime minister and opposition leader Sheikh Hasina issued special messages on the day paying deep respect to the martyrs of the nine-month Liberation War.
Different political and socio-cultural bodies have taken different programs, including discussions on the significance of the day and cultural shows.
The government has tightened security measures in all venues as the Islamist militants said still they had enough explosives to attacks.
State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar told reporters on March 22 that he had ordered for strengthening security as the government cannot ignore the possibility of fresh attacks by the militants now on the run.