HOME About Blog Contact Hotel Links Donations Registration
NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bangladesh strike turns violent; 60 hurt

DHAKA, June 13 (Reuters) - At least 60 people were injured in pitched battles between police and opposition activists as a two-day strike took hold across Bangladesh on Tuesday, police and witnesses said.

An opposition alliance led by former prime minister Sheikh Hasina called the strike to try to force the government to accept demands for electoral reform ahead of next January's parliamentary election.

The demands include the removal of the election commissioner and a say in the caretaker administration to be appointed to run the country ahead of the polls.

The clashes erupted in Dhaka, nearby Narayanganj and northern Sirajganj, where police used batons and tear gas to disperse marching activists, witnesses said.

The protesters reponded by throwing rocks at police.

Protesters set fire to two vehicles, including a police car, at Dhaka's Chawkbazar area, police said.

More vehicles were damaged in Narayanganj, Sirajganj and southern Chittagong port city, witnesses told Reuters.

Hundreds of riot police patrolled streets and guarded key buildings in the Bangladesh capital, Dhaka, as the strike took hold.

Ministers and senior officials went to work with heavy police escorts and traffic was generally much lighter than normal.

Fears of fresh violence have gripped the city of 10 million after two days of clashes saw around 300 people injured and hundreds more detained at the weekend.

"We are not going to leave the streets despite continuing police atrocities," said Mohammad Nasim, a senior leader of Hasina's Awami League and a former home minister.

Nasim and other senior party officials were beaten by police during an attempted opposition blockade of the capital on Sunday, which led to the latest strike.

The standoff between opposition and ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) triggered noisy debate in parliament on Monday, resulting in a walkout by the Awami lawmakers.

Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia's five-year term will end in October when the caretaker administration -- appointed by the president in consultation with the government -- will take over until January's election. (Additional reporting by Nizam Ahmed)
Web IntelligenceSummit.org
Webmasters: Intelligence, Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism WebRing
Copyright © IHEC 2008. All rights reserved.       E-mail info@IntelligenceSummit.org