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Police Kill 4 in Bangladeshi Protests

A Bangladeshi riot policeman stands guard in front of the Dhaka Stock Exchange during a demonstration in Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 24, 2012.

Police in Bangladesh fired guns and used tear gas on protesters at opposition rallies in the southeast, killing at least four and injuring more than 200 others.

Authorities say the shootings took place Sunday in two towns -- Chandpur and Laksmipur -- where Bangladesh Nationalist Party activists were demonstrating for the reinstatement of a caretaker voting system.

Authorities say the protesters pelted officers with stones and attempted to break through police barricades, prompting officers to open fire.

Similar clashes were reported in towns across the country as BNP activists and their Islamist allies gathered to demand a voting system under which independent caretaker governments oversee national elections.

The system was scrapped by the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Bangladeshi police had earlier banned rallies planned for Sunday in the capital city of Dhaka over fears of violent clashes between the BNP and the ruling Awami League party.

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