Fresh violence in Bangladesh as strike begins

Police say one dead and dozens injured as opposition launches 36-hour strike for release of arrested activists.

    One person has been killed and dozens injured at the start of a 36-hour strike by an opposition alliance in Bangladesh, officials have said.

    A local police official said a truck driver died early on Tuesday from fatal head injuries after being hit by rocks.

    The attack that killed the driver and injured several other people occurred in Bogra district 175km north of the capital, Dhaka.

    Protesters enforcing a general strike clashed with police, detonated homemade bombs and attacked vehicles in parts of Bangladesh, leaving one person dead and dozens injured, according to a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    An alliance of 18 parties were enforcing the nationwide 36-hour strike that began on Tuesday to press for the release of more than 160 opposition politicians arrested in the last two weeks.

    Calling a general strike is a common tactic in Bangladesh to highlight opposition demands.

    The latest strike came a day after an conservative religious group enforced a shutdown on Monday to demand the government enact an anti-blasphemy law to try those who insult Islam and its prophet.

    Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority nation, is governed by secular laws.

    In the latest campaign, the country's main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its 17 allies want Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government to restore a constitutional provision that requires a neutral caretaker administration to supervise the next general election expected in early 2014.

    Hasina abolished the system in 2011 after the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional.

    The 18-party alliance is also opposing trials of several opposition politicians on charges of war crimes allegedly committed during Bangladesh's 1971 Liberation War.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera And Agencies


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