Saturday, April 19, 2014   

Bangladesh winds down year amid more turmoil
(12-30 19:58)

Bangladesh's capital was effectively cut off from the rest of the country today, with transport services into Dhaka halted to thwart the second day of a protest march against next week's elections.
As violence flared elsewhere in the country leaving one dead, bus, ferry and train services were again suspended and roadblocks kept in place around the capital to stop opposition supporters travelling to Dhaka for the banned march.
Dhaka-bound train services were suspended at the country's second largest city of Chittagong. Ferry services from the main coastal city of Barisal were halted.
The opposition and its allies called the march in hopes that up to a million people would descend on central Dhaka, in a last-ditch attempt to force Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to quit and call off the January 5 election.
Two people were killed at the start of the march on Sunday during clashes between bomb-throwing opposition supporters and police who responded with shotguns and water cannon.
As tensions mounted in Dhaka, a local council leader was shot dead today during clashes involving several hundred protesters in the southern district of Satkhira, police inspector Azam Khan told AFP.
Protesters armed with guns attacked police who retaliated with rifle fire in Satkhira, a stronghold of the country's largest Islamist party which is allied to the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party.—AFP

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