Clashes between rival political activists in Dhaka, Bangladesh have left at least three people dead and 100 others injured. The clashes came as Prime Minister Khaleda Zia prepared to hand over power to a caretaker government which will oversee the January elections.
The main opposition Awami League has strongly opposed Mrs. Zia's plan to install a former supreme court chief justice as the head of the caretaker government. The opposition says Justice K.M. Hasan is biased in favor of the government. The opposition has vowed to paralyze the country Saturday with a transport strike across the country.
Police said a district leader from the BNP was killed Friday in a bomb attack, and that thousands of activists took to the capital's streets brandishing sticks and setting small fires. Dhaka's police chief said around 7,000 police had been deployed to maintain order. District vice president Sheikh Mohammad Habibullah was killed when a bomb was hurled at a rally in the eastern Brahmanbaria district, area police chief Masudul Alam said. One man also died of his injuries Friday after he was caught in clash on Thursday.
The end of the coalition government's mandate comes as the opposition announced an indefinite road, rail and river blockade of the capital and 13 key BNP politicians defected to a new political entity. Police said a district leader from the BNP was killed Friday in a bomb attack, and that thousands of activists took to the capital's streets brandishing sticks and setting small fires.