Two killed as fresh clashes erupt in Bangladesh
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Two persons were killed on Sunday as fresh clashes erupted in the Bangladeshi capital between opposition supporters and security forces, who used water cannons and tear gas to foil attempts by BNP activists to conduct a seige of government offices to derail the upcoming January 5 polls.
Around 11,000 policemen patrolled the city as hundreds of demonstrators defied a government ban and took to the streets to stage the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party's "march for democracy".
Authorities have detained over 1,000 opposition activists, trying to gather in the capital, after raiding homes of opposition supporters and trains.
Meanwhile, the BNP on Sunday announced that it would stage non-stop sit-in protests like Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha across the country until the general election scheduled for January 5 was not scrapped.
The paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) troops joined hands with elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and riot police in cordoning off the BNP's central office in nearby Naya Paltan and the residence of its party chief ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia at upmarket Gulshan area.
A student of a private university succumbed to his wounds as police intercepted a procession of BNP and its crucial ally Jamaat-e-Islami at Rampura area, police and witnesses said.
"The boy was injured as they (activists) hurled bomb on us, forcing us to retaliate with gunshots," a police officer told newsmen, adding that the student was declared dead after he was rushed to a nearby hospital. He was later identified as an activist of Jamaat's student wing.
A security guard was killed and another injured as suspected opposition activists hurled a crude bomb on the platform of Dhaka's main Kamalapur railway station, railway officials said.
BNP chief Zia stayed confined inside her residence despite her plans to address the rally at Naya Paltan as police and paramilitary troops threw a seemingly impenetrable ring around her house alongside the central party office.