Police in Bangladesh have fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse stone-throwing supporters of the country's former military ruler, whose candidacy for upcoming elections has been rejected.
Scores of people were injured as they fought running street battles with police and soldiers in five northern districts, including Rangpur -- the hometown of former military ruler Hussein Mohammed Ershad.
The areas are strongholds of Ershad's Jatiya Party.
His application to run in next month's election was rejected by electoral officials on Wednesday, prompting angry supporters to call a day-long strike on Thursday.
Electoral officials said Ershad could not run because of his conviction and potential two-year prison term on corruption charges. Under Bangladesh's constitution, a person jailed for at least two years for a so-called "moral crime" is barred from seeking elected office.
The Supreme Court has ordered Ershad to surrender and serve his jail time. But the ex-dictator has said the case and the decision to ban his candidacy is a plot to keep him from running for office.
Matiur Rahman Choudhury has more details.