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Monday, 9 April, 2001, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Bangladesh hit by more strikes
Police in capital, Dhaka
Police were deployed to prevent any violence
Hundreds of riot police have been deployed in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, as another opposition-led general strike gets underway.

The three-day strike is part of a series of protests organised by opposition groups calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina.

The streets of the capital were largely deserted except for some taxis, state-run buses and rickshaws.

Sheikh Hasina
Sheikh Hasina says she will complete her term
A number of people were reported to have been injured after home-made bombs were thrown by strike supporters.

Most schools and offices in the capital were reported to have closed, and some ferry and air services were also affected.

On Sunday, two people were killed and a number of others injured in a gun battle near the port city of Chittagong.

Call to step down

General elections are due in July and the prime minister's Awami League party has vowed to serve out its full term.

Last month, the four-party opposition alliance - which includes opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh National Party - gave Sheikh Hasina an ultimatum to step down or face protests.

The prime minister had earlier announced she would step down after 17 April and hand over power to a caretaker administration, but has since changed her mind.

Under the country's constitution, the prime minister has to hand over power to an interim administration ahead of elections.

But Sheikh Hasina's five-year term does not end before mid-July.

The stand-off has led to fears of more violence before the elections and has also hurt the country's economy.

Business leaders say the strikes have cost Bangladesh billions of dollars in lost production and exports.

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See also:

03 Apr 01 | South Asia
Bangladesh strike enters third day
21 Mar 01 | South Asia
'Resign', Bangladesh PM is told
06 Feb 01 | South Asia
Five dead in Bangladesh protest
23 May 00 | South Asia
Protests over Bangladesh election chief
02 Mar 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Bangladesh
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