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Bangladesh Protests Turn Violent Over Election Date

  • VOA News

A Bangladeshi policeman gestures from an armored car after clashes with Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) activists and its Islamist allies during a blockade in Aminbazer, in the outskirts of Dhaka, Nov. 26, 2013.

A Bangladeshi policeman gestures from an armored car after clashes with Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) activists and its Islamist allies during a blockade in Aminbazer, in the outskirts of Dhaka, Nov. 26, 2013.

Political protests in Bangladesh turned violent on Tuesday after the nation's Election Commission announced elections for a new government will be held January 5.

One man died and dozens of others were wounded in rallies across the country. Opposition supporters detonated scores of homemade bombs and removed railway tracks to disrupt train services on Tuesday, witnesses and police said.

The Election Commission announced the date for the new elections on Monday. The BNP had wanted to postpone the announcement until after an agreement had been reached on the formation of a caretaker cabinet to oversee the election.

The BNP has rejected any attempt to hold an election until it is satisfied a neutral interim administration is in place without Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Both heirs to political dynasties, Hasina and BNP leader Begum Khaleda Zia have rotated as prime minister for most of the last 22 years amid unending enmity, set against an all-too-familiar background of violent protest in one of the world's poorest countries.

In recent weeks at least 30 people have died and hundreds have been injured in the protests.

Some information in this report was provided by Reuters.

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