Thousands of people marched through the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, Sunday to commemorate the first anniversary of grenade attacks that killed more than 20 people at an opposition rally. Participants of the march, organized by the opposition Awami League, wore black ribbons and carried black flags as they walked peacefully from Dhaka University to the party headquarters. Senior leaders of AL, left 11-party alliance, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Inu) and National Awami Party (NAP) led the procession in the capital. Many people who were injured in the blasts took part in the protest procession, which ended on the Bangabandhu Avenue with the participants swearing an oath to resist 'violence against the people under the BNP-Jamaat alliance rule'. Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that Islam is the religion of peace and friendship but those who are using the religion for political benefits need to condemned. She criticized the government and the communal forces within . On August 21st, 2004, at least three grenades exploded at an Awami League rally, just after party leader Sheikh Hasina had finished her speech. She narrowly escaped injury, but 22 people were killed and hundreds wounded. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. But the opposition blames the government of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and has demanded new elections. The prime minister denies involvement and has vowed to remain in power until her term ends in 2006.
Photo: Courtesy The Daily Star, Dhaka