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Bangladesh Police Use Batons, Teargas to Clear Protesters

A demonstrator throws a brick at police during clashes between police and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) protesters in front of the Dhaka Judge Court in Dhaka, December 4, 2011.

Police in Bangladesh used batons and teargas Sunday to disperse scores of protesters taking part in a day-long opposition strike in the capital, Dhaka.

Thousands of security officials were deployed across the city in an attempt to maintain order as schools and businesses were closed in observance of the strike. Reports from the capital say several opposition and government supporters were injured in scuffles with police.

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party organized the strike in protest of the government's decision to divide Dhaka into two administrative zones.

"Dhaka is like the the heart of its residents. This strike is a protest against the government's decision to divide the city, BNP Joint Secretary Ruhul Kabir Rizvi," said.

The government says the planned split will lead to improved services and utilities for the city's 10 million residents.

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