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Boycott after media members hurt in clashes with police

By Staff
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CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh, Apr 16 (Reuters) Local Bangladeshi media mounted a boycott of the second test between Bangladesh and Australia after at least 10 of them were injured by police, witnesses said today.

About 20 officers with batons damaged cameras and clashed with around 50 reporters and photographers who were protesting by the side of pitch outside the press box during the lunch break on day one.

They were upset over an incident before play began when a policeman assaulted a photographer in a row over using transport in the restricted stadium vicinity.

''At least 10 reporters and photographers were injured and five were taken to clinic for treatment,'' a reporter from the scene said over telephone, describing the lunchtime protest.

Haji Zahir, a veteran photographer, said: ''We are leaving the press gallery in protest against excesses by police and there will be no more media coverage if authorities do not take action against unruly policemen.'' Majedul Haque, a senior officer with Chittagong Metropolitan police, said police had gone into action as a number of unruly people identifying themselves as reporters threatened police, who had then promptly acted in self defence.

''However, the incident would be investigated and if policemen were responsible they will be punished,'' he said.

The policeman involved in the earlier assault has expressed regret and been suspended.

At close of play, Australia were 76-1 after bowling out Bangladesh for 197.

REUTERS PM BST1804

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