AP – Police in Bangladesh clashed with opposition supporters who blocked roads to demand that the Prime Minister resign and hand power to a non-partisan caretaker to oversee elections next year. At least two people were killed and dozens injured, officials said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has rejected a caretaker government and on Tuesday ruled out any dialogue with the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which is behind the protests.
She warned of consequences if they continue with their announced intention to block roads for three days starting on Tuesday. Dozens of people were arrested across the country, reports said.
In the central district of Kishoreganj, two opposition supporters were killed in clashes with police, and 40 other people, including 15 police officers, were injured, local government administrator Abul Kalam Azad said. Clashes also took place in the Narayanganj district outside the capital, Dhaka, where local media reports said three policemen were stabbed.
The United News of Bangladesh agency reported violence including vandalism and arson in Dhaka. The government has been under pressure for months because of anti-government protests by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party of former prime minister Khaleda Zia.
Elections are expected in January, and the opposition said it won’t join unless Hasina guarantees a free vote via a caretaker government.