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Zia vows to continue anti-govt protests; death toll exceeds 60

Bangladesh's opposition chief Khaleda Zia on Thursday vowed to continue the nationwide anti-government protests, even as four more people were killed in the month- long political violence raising the death toll to over 60.



Dhaka: Bangladesh's opposition chief Khaleda Zia on Thursday vowed to continue the nationwide anti-government protests, even as four more people were killed in the month- long political violence raising the death toll to over 60.

"I am ready to face any consequences as our backs have been pushed against the wall. We have no alternative to the (protest) movement," said Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Zia, hours after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina warned tough actions against anarchists.

The former premier sought support from the "international community and democratic countries", saying "we have enforced the movement not to go to power but to uphold the democracy, ensure people's fundamental and human rights, justice and rule of law."

"We have been calling upon the government for the last one year for holding a dialogue to create a congenial atmosphere for an inclusive national election but it did not pay any attention...The movement will continue until a reasonable decision comes over the matter," she said.

Her statement came on the fifth day of the BNP-enforced nationwide strike and 30th day of their countrywide transport blockade amid the reports of the four fresh deaths including two truckers and a policeman.

Suspected activists carried out the fresh arson attack on a truck in northwestern Bogra killing two people instantly while a police constable succumbed to his burn wounds?after 20 days of struggle for life at a hospital here.

The fourth person was an alleged saboteur who was shot dead by police at Mirpur area of the capital when, as what officials said, he attempted to hurl a petrol bomb on patrol van in a predawn abortive arson attack.

According to media reports, 10 others were previously killed in police gunshots. Authorities had warned that the law enforcement agencies including paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh would handle the saboteurs with an "iron hand".

In a near simultaneous incident in the morning, the protesters partly set on fire a train at suburban Gazipur. Police said they have detained one of the "miscreants" from the scene while railway men managed to douse the fire before it could engulf all the carriages.

TV reports said angry mob today nearly lynched two suspected arsonists whom they captured while they tried to hurl a petrol bomb on a car in Comilla, the scene of one of the worst arson attacks where seven passengers were killed when a bus was set on fire this week.

Hasina, who had ruled out any possibility of proclaiming the state of emergency to tackle the unrest, today told top officials that she expected the public wraths alongside tougher government actions against BNP and its crucial ally fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami would end the crisis.  

From Zee News

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