Deadly clashes erupt in Bangladesh as opposition march gets underway
DHAKA (AFP) - Bangladesh police fired water cannon and shotguns at opposition protesters in the capital on Sunday, killing one person, at the start of a banned mass march aimed at thwarting next month's general election.
Hundreds of demonstrators, some throwing home-made bombs, battled police as they tried to gather at the opposition's headquarters and other places throughout Dhaka for the so-called "March for Democracy".
Some 11,000 police and elite Rapid Action Battalion officers were patrolling the capital to try to halt the march, Dhaka police spokesman Masudur Rahman told AFP.
Police have detained more than 1,000 opposition supporters as a "preventive measure", while authorities have suspended Dhaka-bound bus, ferry and train services - virtually cutting off the city from the rest of the country.