Officials in Bangladesh say train services across the country have stopped after railway operators and employees went on strike to protest a government plan to privatize rail services.
An official for the state-owned Bangladesh Railway says striking workers placed barricades on railway tracks on Wednesday, forcing trains to halt.
He says thousands of commuters were left stranded at stations. Railway officials say some angry passengers vandalized trains and ransacked stations along rail lines connecting the capital to the southeastern port city of Chittagong.
The Bangladesh Railway workers' union called the strike to protest government plans to turn the state-run railway into an independently managed corporation. Officials say the change is expected to reduce annual losses of at least 15 million dollars.
Matiur Rahman Choudhury has more on the story.