A 10-year-old Bangladeshi boy who worked at a textile mill has died after his co-workers reportedly pumped air into his body by inserting a compressor hose into his rectum.

According to local media reports, Sagar Barman, a child worker at Zobaida Textiles was taken to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital on 24 July afternoon with a bloated stomach but the doctors declared him dead at 3.30 pm local time (10.30 am BST). Police officials said it was unclear why the boy was attacked and killed by his co-workers. Meanwhile, an official working at the spinning mill has been arrested.

Dr Firoz Ahmed at the hospital said that he was brought in with an abnormally swelled stomach and he could have died from air filled through his rectum. He added, "We will be able to give you details after the autopsy. The body has been sent to the morgue."

Sub Inspector Tanvir Hossain said they visited the factory after receiving a report of the killing. He said, "We spoke to the workers but could not get any names. The family is in Dhaka Medical and we are in contact with them. Details will be learned after a case is filed." The company's staff allegedly refused to let local journalists in to the factory.

On 3 August last year, a 12-year-old boy named Mohammed Rakibul Islam, was also killed in a similar way by three garage owners because he had left his job at their vehicle shop. Two of the assailants were sentenced to death in November.

His killing was followed by the murder of another 13-year-old Sheikh Samiul Alam Rajon, after he was suspected of bicycle theft. The video of the beating was released on the internet, and four people were jailed and sentenced to death.

Child labour in Bangladesh is the most common in agriculture and domestic service, with many children working in small factories and workshops in very harsh conditions. According to the Labour law of Bangladesh 2006, the minimum legal age for employment is 14. At least 7.4m children aged between 5 and 17 are in some form of employment in the country.

child labour bangladesh
Children fill up empty cigarettes with locally grown tobacco in a factory at Haragach in Rangpur district, Bangladesh [PICTURE FOR REPRESENTATION] Reuters