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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 May, 2005, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
Bangladesh strike sparks clashes
By Waliur Rahman
BBC News, Dhaka

Policewomen arrest female Awami League activists in Dhaka, 21 May
Police tried to stop the protest from going ahead
At least 20 people have been injured in the Bangladesh capital, Dhaka, in clashes between police and striking opposition supporters.

The Awami League called the nationwide strike in protest at the killing of one its leaders, Khorshed Alam, on Tuesday.

The party says riot police baton-charged its supporters at several points in the capital, and detained at least 50 activists.

Police said protesters smashed up vehicles for defying the strike call.

Thousands of security force personnel are patrolling the streets of Dhaka and other major cities.

Suspects held

No group has so far said it carried out the killing of Khorshed Alam, outside his home on Tuesday.

Police have arrested two suspects, but have released no details.

Saturday's strike, the second in four days over the killing, shut schools and shops, and disrupted public transport in many towns and cities across the country.

The Awami League accuses the government of failing to improve law and order and is demanding early elections, which are not due before October 2006.

The government has vowed to see out its full five-year term.

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