War crimes trials spark Dhaka clashes

AFP-JIJI

Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters in Bangladesh on Thursday as a nationwide strike called to protest war crimes trials brought much of the country to a halt.

The Jamaat-e-Islami party called the strike to protest the prosecution of its main leaders for atrocities they are alleged to have committed during the 1971 war of independence against Pakistan.

Clashes occurred in Dhaka, where the protesters torched and damaged vehicles, and in many other towns across the country. A police constable died after suffering a heart attack during a clash in one town. Many schools and private businesses were shut and inter-city motorways were deserted.