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Bangladesh Police Arrest Nearly 2,000 Under State of Emergency


Police in Bangladesh say they have arrested nearly 2,000 people since Wednesday under state of emergency laws aimed at preventing pre-election violence.

Police say they are targeting criminals and other so-called "troublemakers" who could disrupt elections expected in the new few months, but political activists are also among those being detained.

Thursday the army arrested six top student activists loyal to the main opposition party, the Awami League.

Police say deploying tens of thousands of troops across the country is necessary to secure law and order after months of mass demonstrations.

The opposition staged the protests against now-cancelled elections it says were rigged in favor of the former ruling party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

Last week, the chief adviser of Bangladesh's caretaker government stepped down after facing strong opposition from the Awami League coalition.

The adviser, Iajuddin Ahmed, declared a state of emergency and canceled the elections, which were scheduled for January 22. Mr. Ahmed retained his ceremonial post as the country's president.

A new interim government chief has been sworn in to oversee the next general election. A date for the vote has not been set.

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