Bombs detonated, rail lines removed in Bangladesh over poll date

Posted: November 28, 2013 in Current Affairs, World Affairs
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DHAKA: Bangladeshi opposition supporters detonated scores of homemade bombs and removed railway tracks to disrupt train services on Tuesday as a planned nation-wide-protest against upcoming elections turned violent, witnesses and police said.

One man died and dozens were wounded across the country in clashes between supporters of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and police, witnesses said.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its Islamist allies called the new 48-hour action after the election commission announced the January 5 vote date, defying the threat of a boycott by the 18-party opposition alliance.

The opposition immediately demanded a suspension of the date, saying they would not take part in any polls with current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina still in power.

They want her to resign and make way for a vote under a neutral caretaker government.

Violence erupted across the country Monday night immediately after Chief Elections Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad announced the plans that elections would be held on Jan 5 and urged parties to take part in the contest for the 300-seat parliament.

Homemade bombs exploded in Dhaka and elsewhere and railway tracks were removed in several places, witnesses said.

On Tuesday at the start of the blockade, a train was derailed at Gouripur, some 100 kilometre (60 miles) north of the capital Dhaka, after opposition supporters allegedly removed sleepers from the tracks, police said.

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