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Bangladesh Police Clash with Rioters for 3rd Day


Riot police in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka used tear gas and batons Tuesday against demonstrators hurling stones and small bombs, as a crippling transportation strike entered its third day.

The clashes erupted when activists, insisting on a delay of this month's scheduled elections, defied a ban on demonstrations and attempted to march on the presidential palace.

More than 200 people have been injured since the opposition Awami League began its blockade on Monday.

The 14-member coalition is boycotting the January 22 national elections, demanding they be postponed until the voter list is revised. Awami leaders say the current list contains many fake names.

The transportation strike has isolated Dhaka and left a record number of shipping containers stranded at the main port of Chittagong.

The Awami League also has demanded that interim President Iajuddin Ahmed resign. He has refused, saying the elections will go ahead as planned because he is constitutionally bound to install a new government by January 25.

The Awami League announced its boycott last week, accusing the interim government of favoring the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. That party, 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 was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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