Bangladesh: Islamist party activists attack police

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Associated Press

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 2:07 AM

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Hundreds of supporters of Bangladesh's main Islamist party attacked police Monday in a busy commercial district in the nation's capital, injuring many including at least eight security officers, an official said.

Dhaka Metropolitan police official Abul Hossain said the activists of the Jamaat-e-Islami party beat police officers Monday after their procession was challenged in Dhaka's Motijheel area.

The party has been demanding a halt to the trials of its top leaders facing charges of crimes against humanity involving the nation's 1971 independence war against Pakistan.

Bangladesh says that during the nine-month war, Pakistani troops, aided by their local collaborators, killed 3 million people and raped about 200,000 women.

Hossain said several vehicles had either been set on fire or vandalized during Monday's clash. He said the activists also attacked pedestrians while throwing stones or pieces of bricks at the security officials.

The party is the key partner of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. Her party and Jamaat-e-Islami also want restoration of a caretaker government to oversee next general elections expected to be held by January.

The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina says no to their demands and argued that the scrapping of the caretaker government provision in 2011 was in line with a Supreme Court order.

The first verdict involving the 1971 war came Jan. 21 when a former party member was sentenced to death for crimes including genocide, murder, rape and arson.

Hasina's vows to continue trying the suspects.

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