|Child among scores injured in unceasing bouts of political violence in Dhaka
Scores of people including a nine-year-old girl were injured as violence raged across Bangladesh, the last of a three-day strike called by opposition activists led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party in a bid to pressure the prime minister to resign.
Buses have been vandalized, vehicles torched and 24 improvised bombs have been exploded.
Local media reports said today the nine-year-old girl was hurt in a bomb blast as she was playing in the morning.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries, the impoverished country's business representative, expressed concern over the latest violence that has claimed the lives of least 15 people since the weekend and urged both the government and opposition to resolve disputes through dialogue.
Homemade bombs exploded in parts of the country today, injuring a police official in the capital Dhaka, an official said.
Scores more have been injured across the country since Sunday, when the decades-old rivalry between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia flared anew with the nationwide strike closing down businesses and roads and government opponents clashing with police and ruling party supporters.
Hasina called Zia on Saturday to appeal to her not to enforce the strike. It was believed to be the first time the two have had a conversation in at least a decade.
Despite the highly unusual appeal from the prime minister, Zia refused to call off the strike, which was due to end today.
Zia wants to force Hasina's government to quit and have a caretaker administration oversee an election scheduled to be held by early next year.
The opposition says the ruling Awami League is not capable of holding a credible vote and has threatened to boycott the election unless a caretaker is appointed from outside of political parties.
Hasina has proposed forming a caretaker government from ruling and opposition parties to supervise the vote.
Bangladesh, a parliamentary democracy, has been alternately ruled by Hasina and Zia since 1991. But the issue of peaceful transfers of power has remained a major challenge.—Agencies