Police, Islamist Protesters Clash in Bangladesh

Posted July 10th, 2011 at 10:05 am (UTC-5)
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Police in Bangladesh have fired tear gas and rubber bullets at hundreds of Islamist activists protesting about a recent constitutional amendment declaring the country a secular state.

At least 50 people, including several police officers, were injured in the melee.

The violence erupted Sunday outside the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, after demonstrators blocked a highway and damaged several vehicles ignoring their call for a strike.

Authorities say police detained at least 75 people.

The strike was called by a coalition of 12 Islamist parties to protest an amendment which dropped the words “absolute faith and trust in Allah” from the Bangladesh constitution.

The government made the change last month to restore the secular character of the original national constitution. However, Islam was retained as the state religion.