Report: Bangladeshi Leader Faints

The Associated Press
Sunday, June 3, 2007; 6:14 AM

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Bangladesh's interim leader Fakhruddin Ahmed fainted Sunday while giving a speech at a function near the capital as midday temperatures soared to 95 degrees, a television station reported.

Ahmed passed out while inaugurating a fair to promote tree-planting at Tangail, 45 miles north of Dhaka, the ATN Bangla network said.

The leader asked for some water toward the end of his speech, but collapsed before he could drink it, a member of a television crew filming the speech said on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Ahmed managed to sit up briefly after aides splashed water on his face, before he was carried away on a stretcher, the crew member said.

He was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment, the television report said.

Ahmed's condition was not serious, and he most likely suffered from the day's stifling heat, doctor Golam Kibria was quoted as saying. Ahmed was later flown by helicopter to Dhaka and taken to a military hospital for further tests.

The government has yet to comment.

Bangladesh has been experiencing a heat wave, with temperatures rising above 100 degrees, according to the Meteorological Office.

Local media have reported dozens of people dying from heat stroke or waterborne disease.

Ahmed took over as head of the country's military-backed interim government after elections scheduled for January were canceled following months of political unrest.

© 2007 The Associated Press