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Bangladeshi strike continues to bring violence

05 November 2013, 11:31

Dhaka - An opposition-enforced general strike hampered public life for a second day on Tuesday in Bangladesh as violence was reported in various parts of the country.

The nationwide strike was meant to force the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to quit in order to allow for a caretaker government, with people from outside political parties to oversee the upcoming elections.

On Tuesday, opposition activists clashed with police in the northwestern district of Rajshahi, leaving at least 25 people injured, Somoy TV station reported. It said three activists were detained.

Separately, ruling Awami League activists clashed with the opposition supporters in the Munshiganj district, leaving scores injured, Channel 24 station reported.

On Monday, the first day of the 60-hour strike, two people died and scores of others were injured as protesters set off homemade bombs and torched cars.

Security was tight across the capital of Dhaka, with extra police and paramilitary guards on the streets on Tuesday.

The protest comes as a Dhaka court is set to deliver the verdicts involving a 2009 mutiny at the headquarters of the country's border guards. At least 74 people, including 57 military officials, were killed in the mutiny. Security was tight around the court.

A similar opposition-backed strike last week also turned violent, with at least 16 people killed in clashes.

The election, which is expected in January, has become a flashpoint in the decades-old rivalry between Hasina and the opposition leader, Khaleda Zia.

The opposition says that the Hasina's government is not capable of holding a credible election, and wants a neutral caretaker administration from outside the political parties to oversee the vote.

Hasina has agreed to form a caretaker government, but with members of the ruling and opposition parties.

- AP


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