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Bangladesh Spends First Day Under Curfew


Bangladeshi troops have moved to enforce a curfew on the streets of the capital and five other cities following student protests demanding an end to emergency rule.

The usually bustling streets of Dhaka were mainly deserted Thursday, although some pedestrians and bicycle rickshaws have been seen making short trips. Some journalists report receiving warnings from authorities.

The curfew was briefly relaxed in the evening.

The government imposed the indefinite curfew and temporarily cut mobile phone service Wednesday evening to try to control clashes between students and security forces at universities.

One person was killed in riots Wednesday. At least 150 others were injured.

The unrest began with a clash at Dhaka University between soldiers and students, who demanded the removal of troops from the university and a restoration of democracy.

Dhaka-based political analyst Ataus Samad says the student demonstrations are a sign of simmering discontent with the interim administration.

The government ordered the troops to withdraw from Dhaka University on Tuesday.

Soldiers had been stationed at the university since January, when the military-backed interim government imposed a state of emergency and banned all political activities and demonstrations after months of political violence.

Bangladesh's interim leader, Fakhruddin Ahmed, says the curfew will be lifted once the situation improves.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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