Bangladesh's interim leader says an indefinite curfew imposed to stop student protesters demanding an end to emergency rule will be lifted once the situation improves.

Fakhruddin Ahmed said in a televised speech to the nation Wednesday that the curfew was a temporary measure.

Earlier Wednesday, Bangladesh's military-backed government imposed the curfew in six cities, including the capital, Dhaka.

It was announced as activists defied a ban on demonstrations for the third straight day, throwing stones, burning tires and clashing with police. Mobile phone service was cut as the measure went into effect.

One person has been killed and at least 150 injured during the unrest.

The protests started Monday at Dhaka University, following a dispute between students and soldiers at a soccer (football) game. The conflict flared into a larger strike against the presence of troops at Dhaka University. The government ordered them withdrawn on Tuesday.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.

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