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Police battled political activists throwing bombs and stones in the Bangladeshi capital on Tuesday, leaving at least 100 injured on the third day of a transport blockade called to scuttle elections. The clashes erupted in the Fakirapool area of Dhaka when the activists, defying a blanket ban on marches and rallies, tried to storm police barricades and march to the presidential palace. 

“It’s a fierce battle going on for couple of hours now, with activists exploding bombs and throwing stones at police firing rubber bullets and tear gas,” Reuters cameraman Rafiqur Rahman said. The fighting then spread to nearby

Bangabandhu Avenue

where police tried to storm the headquarters of mainstream political party Awami League but were repelled by bomb-throwing party activists, Rahman and other witnesses said. “Smoke from the home-made bombs and tear gas shells covered the area, with people running for cover,” one witness said.

Clashes between protesters and police were reported from other parts of Dhaka and its outskirts. Dozens were hurt and police arrested several activists, news reports said. In the congested old part of the city, protesters blasted small, handmade bombs and police replied with rubber bullets, leaving several injured, local television station Channel I reported. Protesters set a parked bus on fire and damaged several vehicles in Savar, an industrial town outside Dhaka. 

At least 100 people, including police, were injured in similar clashes across the capital on Sunday, the first day of protests that cut the city off from rest of the country, Dhaka newspapers reported. On Sunday, police used batons, tear gas and rubber bullets on stick-wielding, stone-throwing demonstrators. 

 

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