( dpa ) - Bangladesh's army chief General Moyeen U Ahmed was given a year's extension to his term as the country's top military leader, a government statement said Sunday.
It said Moyeen, who played a key role in stopping the densly- populated country from plunging into anarchy, would retain his current position as chief of army staff until June 2009.
Moyeen, who backed the interim neutral government, was expected to step down this June, officials said. But he was asked to stay on to boost the stability of the civilian administration ahead of the proposed general election in December.
The army chief was given the one-year extension in public interest, officials said.
Moyeen was credited for tackling Islamist extremists in Muslim- majority Bangladesh.
Analysts said the army chief's handling of the politically inspired violence prevented the outbreak of a civil war.