Blasts, clashes mark start of 36-hr shutdown

The BNP and its allies including the Jamaat-e-Islami were enforcing a 36-hour general strike across the country on Wednesday to demand release of their detained leaders.In the beginning hours of a 36-hour shutdown, explosions of several crude bombs from various pro-strike processions have been reported in parts of the capital city. The strike that began at 6:00 am amid tight security would continue on Thursday.
TV footage showed a group of opposition activists throwing crude bombs in Jatrabari in Dhaka.
In Narayanganj, the opposition activists vandalised at least seven vehicles in Narayanganj as they clashed with police.’s correspondent in Narayanganj reported that at least five people were injured in the clashes.
Police fired tear gas canninters to take the situation under control. A number of bombs were also exploded during the chaos in Narayanganj.
Reports of clashes and processions were coming from many other districts. In some places, the pro-shutdown supporters blocked roads by burning tyres.
In Sylhet city, the activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing attacked a vehicle carrying police by throwing stones.
Up to 25 activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir riding on motor bikes attacked the vehicle at Chowhatta area in the divisional headquarters.
In Dhaka, explosions of homemade bombs, mainly from processions of the opposition activists, were reported.
A correspondent said police dispersed the protesters who blocked the road by burning tyres at Jigatola in Dhanmondi, said Sazzad Hossain, a Sub-inspector of Dhanmondi Police Station.
The protesters brought out processions in Khilgaon, Khilkhet, Mirpur, Basabo, Mohammadpur and Gabtoli.
Traffic was thin on the usually-clogged streets of Dhaka with many commuters using rickshaws to reach their destinations.
Schools and most businesses remained closed in Dhaka.
On the eve of Wednesday’s shutdown, a number of motir vehicles was set ablaze while clashes were reported in Dhaka and outside.
Two policemen were injured in a bomb attack on Rajshahi’s Boalia Police Station while a train was set on fire in Mymensingh Railway Station on Tuesday night on the eve of 36-hour shutdown.
Rajshahi’s Boalia Model Police Station Officer in-Charge Ziaur Rahman Zia said five crude bombs were hurled in from outside the eastern walls at around 8:20pm.
”Constables Firoz Uddin and Dabir Uddin were injured. One of the bombs directly hit Firoz Uddin.”
Firoz Uddin was admitted to Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital in critical condition, OC said. Dabir was given primary aid.
All police stations and outposts under Rangpur range have been put on alert after the incident, Rangpur Range Police’s Deputy Inspector General Iqbal Bahar told
Suspected pro-shutdown supporters set fire to an empty carriage of a train in Mymensingh Railway Station at around 8pm, eyewitnesses said.
One coach of Bangabandhu Express was gutted in the fire and two other coaches were damaged, Mymensingh Railway Station Superintendent Abu Taher said.
Two fire fighting units put out the fire after an hour’s efforts.

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