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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2006, 17:04 GMT
Strike again paralyses Bangladesh
The protests have brought the country to a halt

Normal life in Bangladesh has been paralysed for a second day by a blockade enforced by the Awami League party and its allies.

They want the top election commissioner to resign, accusing him of favouring the outgoing government led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

The BNP handed over power to an unelected caretaker government in late October which will oversee the vote.

At least two people died in political violence on Tuesday, police say.

Political say the two activists were killed when a bus carrying supporters of a rival political group drove at them in the south-eastern district of Chittagong.

Roads blocked

Fighting also broke in the city of Chittagong itself. In the northern town of Bogra at least 20 people were injured in clashes between BNP and Awami League supporters.

Protesters in Dhaka
The protests have meant travel between towns is almost impossible

In Dhaka, schools and shops remain closed. Thousands of rickshaws replaced other vehicles as a result of the transport blockade.

The BBC's Roland Buerk in Dhaka says the blockade is having a serious effect on the economy.

Travel between towns and cities is all but impossible. Roads and railways are blocked.

All traffic to and from the main port at Chittagong has been stopped.

'Rig the polls'

The owners of garment factories, the country's main export, say they are losing at least $70m a day.

The Awami League and its allies are enforcing the blockade in an effort to try and force Mr Aziz to go.

They accuse him of planning to rig the polls in favour of the outgoing government led by the BNP.

The country is being ruled by an interim administration headed by President Iajuddin Ahmed. Under the constitution, he cannot sack the chief election commissioner.

Members of the president's temporary cabinet met Mr Aziz on Monday.

Later they said a solution to the crisis might be found by Wednesday and there is widespread speculation that the chief election commissioner may resign or go on extended leave.




SEE ALSO
Fifty hurt in Bangladesh clashes
20 Nov 06 |  South Asia
Bangladesh poll chief to stay on
06 Nov 06 |  South Asia
B'desh opposition renews deadline
03 Nov 06 |  South Asia
Bangladesh rivals in key meeting
05 Oct 06 |  South Asia
Bangladesh approaches zero hour
05 Oct 06 |  South Asia
Timeline: Bangladesh
06 Dec 05 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Bangladesh
28 Dec 05 |  Country profiles

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