Water for Bangladeshi protesters

Troops are quenching the thirst of thousands of Bangladeshis protesting over a shortage of electricity and water.

    Children cool themselves under a leaking water tanker

    Witnesses said troops with water tankers moved into the crowded Demra area on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, where protesters barricaded a road on Friday, clashed with police and damaged dozens of vehicles.

    More than 100 people were injured, including 10 policemen, in the clashes after officers tried to disperse the protesters using batons and teargas.

    They were protesting against little or no clean water supplies in the area, along with months of daily power failures hurting businesses and students preparing for examinations, local residents said.

    Hundreds of protesters took to the highway again early on Saturday but soon dispersed as the army began supplying water, and also assured residents that they would try to find a solution to their problems.

    "The situation has largely calmed down and is fast returning to normal," an army officer at the scene said.

    There has been a wave of protests throughout Bangladesh over the short supply and high prices of utilities including water, electricity and diesel to run irrigation pumps.

    At least 20 people, mostly farmers, were shot dead by police in the country's northwest in recent months while demonstrating against the shortages and alleged inaction by authorities to improve supplies.

    SOURCE: AFP


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