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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2006, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK
One dead after Bangladesh protest
Bangladeshi textile workers run to safety
Nearly 20 vehicles were set on fire by protesters
A textile worker has died after being injured in clashes between protestors and police near the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.

The man was one of dozens of people hurt on Monday when trouble broke out as textile workers at a clothing factory began a protest.

The textile workers were demonstrating in favour of higher wages.

News of the man's death prompted further confrontations on Tuesday between workers and police.

Two factories and nearly 20 vehicles were set on fire.

Black smoke

The clothing industry accounts for more than three-quarters of Bangladesh's export earnings but factories are notorious for low pay and poor safety.

Some workers earn as little as $20 a month.

Demonstrators in Ashulia, around 40 kms from Dhaka
Demonstrations were held all over the Dhaka area

The BBC's Roland Buerk in Dhaka says that the trouble on Tuesday began shortly after the start of the working day when thousands of garments workers poured out of factories in the Tejgaon industrial area of Dhaka.

Our correspondent says that a razor blade factory was attacked and looted, and that a plume of black smoke could be seen for miles around.

The worker died in a hospital in Dhaka where he was receiving treatment after being shot in the back during Monday's protests, the Associated Press quoted police official Kamrul Islam as saying.

Police opened fire after thousands of workers went on a rampage on Monday in Savar, an industrial zone some 30km from Dhaka.

At least 50 people, including several policemen, were injured, reports say.

"The unruly workers of the factory agitated on the streets blockading the highway and smashing vehicles," local police chief Jamaruddin Ahmed is quoted as saying by AFP.

"They forced workers at other factories to join them."

Textile fears

Savar is home to dozens of textile factories owned by foreign companies.

The latest violence came three days after police opened fire on protesting garment workers in the neighbouring Gazipur district, killing one person.

The unruly workers of the factory agitated on the streets blockading the highway and smashing vehicles
Jamaruddin Ahmed

Bangladesh earns nearly $7bn a year by exporting textile products, mainly to Europe and the United States.

Exports grew by 20% in the past year, although it was feared earlier that the abolition of quotas in the global textile trade would adversely affect Bangladesh.

Workers often take to the streets with complaints of poor pay and working conditions.

Bangladesh commerce minister, Hafizuddin Ahmed, held crisis talks with the leaders of textile producers' associations on Monday following the violence.

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