Four more killed in fresh clashes in Bangladesh, toll crosses 80
Dhaka: Four people, including a teenage boy, died on Monday in continued violence in Bangladesh raising the number of those killed to 84 following the conviction of three top Islamist leaders for 1971 war crimes.
A large number of supporters of Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami clashed with police on the second day of a nationwide strike called to protest against the conviction of their leaders.
Schools and businesses remained closed amidst reports that protesters attacking police and government offices and blocking rail and road traffic.
Police opened fire on unruly picketers in Satkhira and Sirajganj, killing four persons, including a teenage boy, and injuring 18 others. Police said they fired in self-defence.
Three compartments of a train were badly burnt when alleged Jamaat-Shibir men hurled a bomb at the train at Kamalapur Railway Station, police said, adding no-one was hurt in the attack.
Railways Minister Mazibul Hoque, after visiting the spot, accused Jamaat-Shibir men for the attack.
"A loud explosion was heard first and the fire engulfed three compartments within seconds," a senior official with Bangladesh Railway told The Daily Star newspaper.
Railway officials rushed to the spot hearing the blast but three compartments were burnt before they managed to bring the fire under control.
Violence in the country escalated on Thursday when a death sentence was handed down to 73-year-old Delwar Hossain Sayedee, vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami, by International Crimes Tribunal.
The two-day strike called by Jamaat coincided with President Pranab Mukherjee's maiden visit to the country.
Another shutdown has been called by the fundamentalist outfit's alliance partner and main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by Khaleda Zia on the last day of the visit by Mukherjee on March 5.
Earlier in the day, a low intensity crude cocktail bomb exploded outside a hotel here, where Mukherjee is staying.
Police said there was no casualty in the incident.
With four more deaths in clashes, the death toll in the ongoing violence over the war crimes verdicts has risen to over 80 since the first conviction was made on January 21.