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Jamaat-Shibir attacks intensify in Bangladesh's north-west
Publication Date : 14-02-2013
At least 30 people, including five law enforcers were injured as activists of Bangladesh's Islamic Jamaat-e-Islami party and its student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir, swooped on police and opened fire on them in the Katakhali area of Rajshahi in the country's north-west on Thursday.
Over one hundred rounds were shot during the nearly one-hour clash that started around 10am, reports Dawn's Rajshahi correspondent, quoting SM Moniruzzaman, commissioner of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police.
Jamaat-Shibir activists also blasted at least 15 handmade bombs during the clash.
The law enforcers rounded up several Jamaat-Shibir men from the scene. Vehicular movement on Dhaka-Rajshahi highway remained suspended for two hours from 10:00am following the clash.
The clash erupted when over 300 Jamaat-Shibir activists blocked the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway in Shamsadipur in Katakhali union by setting fire to tyres. They were demanding the scrapping of international crimes tribunals and the release of their party leaders, including war crimes suspects.
Police rushed to the scene and hurled several rounds of teargas canisters to disperse the Jamaat-Shibir men, the police commissioner said. This led the party men to divide into four groups and cordon off the law enforcers.
At one stage, they party activists opened fire indiscriminately, targeting police, the commissioner added. In retaliation, law enforcers also fired several rounds of rubber bullets, compelling the party men to retreat. The Jamaat-Shibir men then took shelter at roadside mastered field.
Over 30 people including SM Abdus Sobhan, officer-in-charge of Motihar Police Station, and Kabil Hossain, a photojournalist of a local daily, sustained injuries during the clash.
A large police contingent led by the police commissioner were conducting a raid on the area when this report was filed around 12:15pm.