Clashes as Bangladesh hit by strike over war trials
DHAKA (AFP) - Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters in Bangladesh on Thursday as a nationwide strike called to protest war crimes trials brought much of the country to a halt.
The Jamaat-e-Islami party called the strike to protest the prosecution of its main leaders for atrocities they are alleged to have committed during the 1971 war of independence against Pakistan.
Clashes occurred in the capital Dhaka, where the protesters torched and damaged vehicles, and several other towns across the country. Many schools and private businesses were shut and inter-city motorways deserted.
A police constable suffered a heart attack during a clash with at least 150 stone-throwing Jamaat supporters in the western town of Monirumpur, district police chief Joydev Bhadra told AFP.