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Hundreds including policemen and journalists injured in Dhaka clash

Written by: Staff
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Dhaka, Mar 30 (UNI) Nearly a hundred people were wounded, including 10 policemen and four journalists, were injured in clashes as opposition demonstrators tried to defy a ban on assembly around the secretariat today.

Witnesses said riot police fired of teargas shells to contain the violence that flared up as the policemen and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student wing of main opposition Awami League, engaged in pitched battles at Doyel Chattar at noon.

Soon, unrest erupted at some other places around the secretariat.

''Trouble started as the BCL activists from Dhaka University campus marched up to the Doyel Chattar in a procession led by its President and tried to make their way removing barricades police installed to restrict the agitators from proceeding towards the secretariat,'' a report said.

Police fired at least 10 teargas shells to disperse the demonstrators, who pelted them with stones.

During the clash, 10 police personnel, including Assistant ommissioner of police (patrol-south) Mizan, four journalists -- Ishtiak Hossain of Samakal, Mostafa Mullah of Channel-I, Riaz of Manab Jamin and Mamun of Channel-S and several Chhatra Leaguers were injured.

At Zero Point at the heart of the capital, police lobbed nearly a hundred tear shells and fired several rounds of rubber bullets on leaders and activists of the Awami League-led 14-party combine as they tried to push through the roadblocks at about 1240 hrs (local time).

A number of opposition activists were injured, while two others Jafar, and Abul Kalam Azad--sustained bullet injures during the pitched battles.

The 14-party leaders and activists, who are demanding electoral reforms, among other demands, gathered at the barricade points and chanted anti-establishment slogans.

Meanwhile, Awami League in a press statement claimed more than 200 leaders and workers injured in ''police attack.'' The city unit of the 14-party combine announced demonstrations for tomorrow in protest against the police action.

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