Monday, January 31, 2005

FLASH: Bangladesh opposition strike during SAARC summit:

+ At the end of a three-day nationwide strike Monday, Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina said: "We'll go for another series of protests Feb 3-6." +

Bangladesh opposition strike during SAARC summit:

Dhaka, Jan 31 : Awami League, the main opposition party in Bangladesh, Monday announced a three-day strike coinciding with the beginning of the SAARC summit here on Feb 6.

At the end of a three-day nationwide strike Monday, Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina said: "We'll go for another series of protests Feb 3-6."

The Awami League launched protests after a grenade attack on its Jan 27 rally killed former finance minister Shah A.M.S. Kibria and four others in Habiganj district, over 260 km from here.

Violence in the general strike that ended Monday left two people dead and hundreds injured. The Awami League claimed police had arrested at least 500 of its workers since Jan 29.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister M. Morshed Khan assured the strike would not affect the two-day 13th SAARC summit. "It may tarnish the country's image," he said.

The government has already stepped up security here as pre-summit meetings are scheduled Feb 1. A senior police officer said 20,000 security personnel are being deployed.