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Bangladesh

Violence as opposition strike hits Bangladesh

Police surround Bangladesh Nationalist Party supporters in Dhaka , 13 November 2010.
Police surround Bangladesh Nationalist Party supporters in Dhaka , 13 November 2010. Reuters

Police fired teargas at protesters near the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka Tuesday as a nationwide strike organised by the main opposition party brought much of the country to a standstill.

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Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) activists attacked police as the strike shut schools, shops and brought garment export shipments, which account for over 80 per cent of Bangladesh's exports, to a halt.

Police, BNP and ruling Awami League activists were also reported to have clashed elsewhere in the country.

The BNP is protesting against the eviction of its leader and former prime minister Khaleda Zia from her home two weeks ago, in a move they say was politically motivated.

Zia had lived in the house for nearly 40 years, but a string of court orders ruled her possession of the state-owned property illegal.

A struggle for power between Zia current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has dominated Bangladesh for decades, leading to frequent strikes and protests.

The BNP said more than 2,000 of its supporters had been arrested Monday night, in what BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain called a police crackdown on "legitimate protest".

 

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