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Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007, 16:18 GMT
Violent Dhaka protests continue
Protesters in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Opposition supporters say planned elections will not be fair
Police have fired tear gas and used batons to disperse stone-throwing protesters amid a second day of violence in the Bangladeshi capital.

About 100 people were hurt nationwide. A number of arrests were made in Dhaka as a three-day transport blockade called by the Awami League continued.

The party and its allies want elections set for this month postponed, saying they will not be free and fair.

Bangladeshi President Iajuddin Ahmed says the elections will go ahead.

Checkpoints

Police fired tear gas to clear the area around the presidential office in the centre of the capital on Monday.

Policeman in Dhaka

Much of the transport system remained paralysed and most businesses were shut, witnesses said.

Awami League alliance activists manned checkpoints to prevent vehicles moving.

The BBC's John Sudworth in Dhaka says the army is on the streets, keeping a visible presence although troops have not been called on to engage with the protesters.

On Sunday, dozens were reported injured in a number of outbreaks of rioting across the city.

President Ahmed says it is his constitutional duty to make sure the elections go ahead as planned on 22 January.

He has headed a caretaker government since the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) handed over interim power at the end of October.

More than 40 people have so far died in election unrest countrywide and the Awami League says the protests will continue until its demands are met.

The Awami League said more than 1,000 activists were detained ahead of the protests.

Its main demand is that the government use an updated version of the 2000 voter register, and not one created over the past few years.

The political bloc led by the BNP accuses the Awami League of "sensing defeat" and being determined to sabotage the elections.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Police and protesters clash in Dhaka



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