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Central & South Asia
Riots erupt at Bangladesh campus
Students demanding the removal of the army from Dhaka University clash with police.
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2007 12:42 GMT

Students are demanding the removal of an army camp from Dhaka university [Reuters]

At least 50 students in Bangladesh have been injured in clashes with security forces at Dhaka University.

An army van was burnt and at least 50 vehicles damaged on Tuesday as violence flared for a second day after 100 students were inured in overnight clashes.

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the students who were carrying sticks and throwing stones.

University officials and witnesses said violence first broke out on Monday after students protested against the presence of soldiers at the university stadium during a football match in the Bangladeshi capital.

Protests and street assemblies have been banned since the country's military-backed interim government took power on January 12 after months of political violence.

Troops have been stationed in the university's gymnasium since then.

Army removal

Monday's unrest, the first major violation of the emergency restrictions, spread across the campus after troops reportedly assaulted some students.

Hundreds of police soon arrived, firing tear gas and rubber bullets, the witnesses said.

The students, who want an immediate dismantling of the army camp on the campus, responded wielding sticks and throwing stones.

Classes and exams were postponed at the university, while students called for an indefinite strike on the campus where 40,000 people are students.

Police were forced to retreat from the campus on Tuesday as students burned effigies of General Moeen Ahmed, the head of the country's army, and of the interim head of the law and information ministries, Mainul Husein.

Disciplinary action

A statement from army headquarters said a soldier who was alleged to have started a brawl with some students on Monday, had been withdrawn and will be subjected to a departmental inquiry.

Earlier, Major-General Sina Ibn Jamali told reporters that the authorities would take action against troublemakers, and, if necessary, would remove them from campus.

As reports of the violence spread beyond the capital, students at Jahangirnagar University, 40km north of the city, barricaded a highway for several hours.

They also damaged at least a dozen vehicles on the road, witnesses said.

Source:
Agencies
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