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Nearly 50 hurt in Bangladesh strike violence

Written by: Staff
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DHAKA, Apr 23 (Reuters) At least 50 people were injured in Bangladesh today when police used batons and fired teargas shells to disperse opposition activists on the streets of capital Dhaka during a daylong strike, witnesses said.

The strike shut most transport, offices, schools and business across the country. Sunday is a working day in Bangladesh.

Violence was reported from half a dozen districts where activists damaged dozens of vehicles and fought pitched battles with police during the second general strike in three days, witnesses said.

More than 100 people were injured, during Thursday's countrywide strike, according to officials and witnesses.

A 14-party opposition alliance led by former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasian, chief of Awami League, called the strikes to press the government to accept demands for electoral reforms, improve law and order, reduce prices and improve supplies of electricity and diesel.

''If they are unable, Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia should resign or face tougher protests on the streets,'' Hasina told a party meeting late yesterday.

''We are keeping our fight on ... fight for flawless democracy, justice and end to tortures of political rivals,'' Awami senior leader Suranjit Sengupta said today.

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has said she would not give up power until the last day of her five-year tenure and asked Hasina to face her in the next parliamentary election in January 2007.

REUTERS SRS PM1452

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