World Bulletin/News Desk
At least seven people were killed and hundreds injured in clashes that erupted in several areas of Bangladesh on Friday as political violence raged across the South Asian nation.
The opposition BNP-Jammat coalition held countrywide protest rallies on Friday to press for the formation of a non-partisan caretaker government.
Opposition parties have recently proposed the creation of such a government to supervise upcoming parliamentary elections.
But Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, leader of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League (BAL), has ruled out the idea, instead proposing the formation of an all-party interim government to oversee the looming polls.
According to police and BNP sources, two supporters of the opposition BNP-Jamaat Party were killed and 25 other people injured in clashes with backers of the ruling Awami League in the Chandpur district in the east of the country.
At least three other people were killed and a number of others injured at Cox's Bazar in the southeast when clashes erupted between BNP-Jamaat protesters and police. Two of those killed at Cox's Bazar were BNP activists, the party confirmed.
In the northern district of Nilphamari, Muslem Uddin, a Jamaat supporter, was killed and at least 15 others injured in clashes between police and Jamaat loyalists, while another Jammat backer, 45-year-old Shafiqul Islam, was killed in the southwestern Sathkhira district, Jamaat sources told Anadolu Agency.
The government had earlier imposed a ban on rallies in almost all districts of the country. It later lifted the ban in some areas, however, including capital Dhaka and some divisional headquarters.
Earlier Friday, at a rally in Dhaka organized by the 18-party opposition alliance, opposition leader and former premier Khaleda Zia called for an October 27-29 strike.
Zia has said that the incumbent government would be deemed "illegal" as of October 27, calling on officials -- including law-enforcement agencies -- not to comply with government directives after that date.
The opposition leader vowed that no election would be held in Bangladesh as long as Sheikh Hasina remained in power.
In 1996 and 2001, Bangladesh had two ten-member, non-party caretaker governments.
Under the country's recently amended constitution, elections must be held 90 days before the outgoing parliament ends its tenure on January 24.
Last Mod: 26 Ekim 2013, 10:21