Police in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, have clashed with hundreds of opposition activists marching in support of a general strike.
Witnesses say at least 20 people were injured as police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse the protesters. Some of the activists overran barbed wire barricades and damaged cars in several parts of the city.
More than five-thousand riot police were deployed in Dhaka to prevent violence during the strike. There was little traffic on the streets of the capital, and schools and businesses were closed in most major cities around the country. Opposition groups called the nationwide strike to demand electoral reforms. It is the sixth mass protest action organized this year by an opposition alliance of 14 parties, led by the Awami League.
The opposition alliance is demanding the government of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia introduce electoral reforms ahead of general elections due early next year.
The alliance accuses the government of influencing members of the country's election commission, a charge the government denies. There is more by our Dhaka stringer, Matiur Rahman Chowdhury: