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Rioters, Police Clash on Second Day of Dhaka Transport Blockade


Riot police in the Bangladeshi capital used tear gas and batons Monday to disperse thousands of protesters demanding electoral reforms and postponement of this month's elections.

Several people were wounded when the clashes broke out in central Dhaka on the second day of a three-day transport blockade imposed by a multi-party alliance that opposes the January 22 election.

At least 50 people were wounded Sunday when riot police in Dhaka used tear gas, rubber bullets and batons to disperse stone-throwing demonstrators who defied the caretaker government's ban on protests.

The Awami League and its allies said the blockade will continue unless the caretaker government agrees to implement key electoral reforms, including a revised voter list.

The group also wants interim President Iajuddin Ahmed to step down. But the president vowed to go ahead with the elections, saying he is constitutionally bound to install a new government by January 25.

The Awami League announced last week it will boycott the polls and accused the interim government of favoring the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

The B.N.P, which led the previous government of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, has accused the Awami League of sabotaging the political process.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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