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Last Updated: Friday, 7 April 2006, 09:46 GMT 10:46 UK
Four die in Bangladesh violence
By Roland Buerk
BBC News, Dhaka

A Bangladeshi farmer cultivates his field in Hothatpara village
Farmers have to rely on monsoons to make up for water shortage
At least four people have been killed and many more injured when a demonstration over water in northern Bangladesh turned violent.

More than 20 small bombs were thrown and there was rioting during the protest in Shibganj town.

The violence began when thousands of farmers ran towards a local MP's house brandishing bamboo poles.

The incident demonstrates the level of anger among some farmers in over the lack of water supplies.

Dry year

Thousands of farmers had been taking part in a rally where the local legislator had been blamed for the shortage of electricity for irrigation.

The demonstrators were heading for his house but as they reached the outskirts of the town a series of explosions began. The bombs were small but they caused widespread panic.

People scattered into the mango orchards as white smoke drifted between the trees.

In the fighting that followed at least four people were killed. The police say they are investigating who was responsible for the blasts.

The country is prone to floods in the monsoon but always experiences less rain in the winter and this year has been particularly dry.

There are extensive irrigation networks but farmers complain they only get electricity to run the pumps for a few hours a day.

Late into the night barricades remained on the roads around Shibganj and thousands of people were on the outskirts of the town staying away from their homes for fear of more violence.




SEE ALSO:
Bangladesh 'facing food crisis'
11 Nov 03 |  South Asia
Arsenic affecting Bangladesh crops
16 Jan 02 |  South Asia
Bangladesh faces water shortages
13 Apr 99 |  South Asia



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