DHAKA, Feb. 14, Reuter: At least two students were killed and 50 injured today when five petrol bombs exploded during a demonstration by Moslem fundamentalist students in the southern port city of Chittagong, police said.

They said the bombs were tossed by unidentified activists as hundreds of students from the Islamic Chhatra Shirbir group were marching through city streets.

The explosion coincided with clashes outside the Presidential Palace in the capital, Dhaka, between police and about 500 student demonstrators.

The demonstrators were commemorating three colleagues killed by police gunfire in 1983 during protests against government education policy.

Police said three fire cracks type devices bombs were thrown by unidentified people at today’s Dhaka protest but there were no injuries.

The Chittagong demonstration followed a six hour citywide strike called by the Shibir, the student wing of the fundamentalist JamatEIslami Party, in protest at an attack by rival students on a Shibir meeting last Thursday near Chitlagong, in which at least 15 students were hurt Police told Reuters 10 students were seriously hurt by today’s blasts.

At least five suspected “miscreants” had been arrested, police said, but gave no details.

The violence erupted as the major opposition party, the Awami League, prepared for an antigovernment rally later today to muster support for a proposed half day nationwide strike next Monday.

Key opposition figure Begum Khaleda Zia, leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, called for a united movement to end the rule of President Hossain Mohammad Ershad and restore “People’s Democracy”.

She told a rally at Chittagong yesterday that Ershad had “pushed Bangladesh to the brink of economic collapse. ruined political system and scuttled efforts to restore flawless democracy”.

“This is time we must work untidily to unseat the hated dictator’, she said.


Article extracted from this publication >>  February 20, 1987