- Title: BANGLADESH: Police clash with political activists in Bangladesh.
- Date: 8th January 2007
- Summary: VARIOUS OF ARMY SOLDIERS STANDING GUARD ON A HIGHWAY
- Embargoed: 23rd January 2007 17:21
- Location: Bangladesh
- Country: Bangladesh
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAA94NZ0FVODGQHAN32ABKSYELB
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: In the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, police clash with political activists wounding 50.
Bangladesh's army chief was summoned to the presidential palace on Monday (January 8) following a day of renewed clashes between police and political activists two weeks before parliamentary elections.
At least 50 people were injured and 30 detained on the second day of a transport blockade, called by former prime minister Sheikh Hasina's multi-party alliance, which is boycotting the Jan. 22 vote.
Police used batons and teargas to disperse Hasina's stone-throwing supporters after they set ablaze several vehicles across the capital Dhaka and its outskirts, witnesses said.
As the violence spread, caretaker President Iajuddin Ahmed summoned army chief Lieutenant-General Moiuddin U. Khan to the presidential palace.
Officials said they might discuss the latest developments and possible ways to restore order ahead of the polls.
Army troops, who are patrolling the streets of Dhaka, have so far avoided direct confrontation with the activists.
About 70 people including police were injured on Sunday, the first day of the three-day blockade.
Hasina's alliance called for the blockade in protest at what it sees as the interim government's inability to hold a free and fair vote. It says Iajuddin favours Hasina's rival, Begum Khaleda Zia, in the polls.
The alliance, which has threatened to block access to the presidential palace on Tuesday, wants Iajuddin to resign but he has refused.
At least 45 people have been killed and hundreds injured in clashes between political rivals since Khaleda ended her five-year tenure as prime minister in late October and handed power to the interim authority.
Hasina and her allies want election officials "biased towards Khaleda" to be removed, a new election schedule and an overhaul of the list of registered voters.
On Saturday, police banned rallies, blockades and other protests to try to maintain order in the run-up to the vote, warning offenders that they would be dealt with severely. The alliance ignored the ban.
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