Bangladesh Detains Hundreds of Islamic Party Members

Posted September 20th, 2011 at 10:25 am (UTC-5)
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Bangladeshi police have detained at least 300 members of the country's main Islamic party, a day after violent protests across the country.

At least two top leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami party were among those arrested Tuesday after being accused of inciting Monday's clashes in Dhaka and other major Bangladeshi cities.

Police used teargas and batons to break up Monday's protest by Jamaat activists. More than 70 people were injured.

Demonstrators were demanding the government release Jamaat-e-Islami party leaders jailed on suspicion of committing war crimes during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.

Bangladesh's main opposition party on Tuesday announced it is planning a nationwide strike on September 22 to protest the police crackdown on opposition activists.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party is an ally of Jamaat.

A BNP official also said the strike will focus on the rising cost of commodities and the government's recent decision to raise fuel prices by up to 19 percent.