Unidentified miscreants set at least 10 buses on fire at different spots in the capital in the afternoon on Thursday but none was reported injured, according to sources in the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP).
Law enforcers detained 10 suspects in connection with the incidents from Paltan and Bhatara areas.
Police suspect that the arson could be part of an attempt to foil the by-election to Dhaka-18 constituency on Thursday.
According to the fire service department, six buses caught fire at Shahbagh, Kataban, Motijheel, secretariat intersection adjacent to the National Press Club, in front of the Awami League's central office on Bangabandhu Avenue and Khilgaon.
All the incidents took place between 1:30pm and 2:30pm.
Talking to The Business Standard, Duty Officer at the fire service headquarters Rasel Ahmed said they are working to ascertain the cause and casualties of these incidents.
The seventh bus was set on fire around 4:15pm in the Coca-Cola area of capital's Bhatara, and no one was injured in the incident, too.
Police picked up a suspect in the area and claimed that he might have set the bus on fire in the guise of a passenger.
Walid Hossain, deputy commissioner (Public Relations Division) of DMP, said that they are trying to identify and arrest the miscreants.
The first incident took place at Shahjahanpur, Khilgaon. The bus in the Shahbagh area was completely burnt in the fire.
Dewan Paribahan bus driver Md Raihan said, "I had 12-13 passengers on my 40-seater bus. After crossing the Kataban signal at around 2pm, I suddenly saw a fire inside my vehicle.
"As soon as I noticed the fire, I let passengers get down, and then I also got off quickly. The vehicle burned down entirely in just three minutes."
Even in the afternoon incidents, police claimed that miscreants in the disguise of passengers set the buses on fire and got down. However, it is not yet clear who had planned the attacks and why.
Walid Hossain further said that initially, it seems that miscreants had set fire to buses in a planned manner with the aim of creating sabotage.
He added that attempts are being made to collect CCTV footage, identify eyewitnesses, and track down the culprits.