Cops fire teargas at demonstrators in Bangladesh

2014-10-30 12:21

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Dhaka - Police fired rubber bullets and teargas on Thursday to disperse demonstrators in Bangladesh's northern Bogra district, during a nationwide strike in protest at a death sentence handed down to an Islamist leader.

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party called the strike on Wednesday after a special war crimes tribunal sentenced its chief, Matiur Rahman Nizami, for committing crimes against humanity during the country's 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.

Police said they had fired rubber bullets and teargas when a group of activists tried to block a major highway in Bogra. The activists also exploded several homemade bombs, police officer Fayzur Rahman said.

Eight people were arrested in the capital Dhaka, police inspector Nurul Muttakin said, adding that they would not allow anyone to "create chaos" during the strike.

A small number of city buses were seen on the streets as well as other vehicles, amid tight security in the city. Train services were normal.

Many business and schools were closed during the first six hours of the strike that began at 06:00 and was due to end on Friday morning.

A second strike has been called for Sunday.

Almost the entire leadership of the Jamaat-e-Islami has been accused of crimes committed during the war, leading to trials that the party says are politically motivated.

Read more on:    bangladesh

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