115 Bangladeshi students injured in police action

Dhaka : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged students on Sunday to go home as police fired tear gas on an eighth day of unprecedented protests over road safety, which paralysed Dhaka.

Tens of thousands students have brought parts of the capital to a standstill after two teenagers were killed by a speeding bus. The unrest spread beyond Dhaka. Authorities shut down mobile Internet services across swathes of the country, officials and local media said.

Sunday the protests took a violent turn in Dhaka’s Jigatala neighbourhood, with more than 115 people injured as police fired rubber bullets at demonstrators.

A car carrying US ambassador Marcia Bernicat was also attacked by “armed men” but she escaped unscathed, the embassy said.

The violence continued with police firing tear gas into a large crowd marching towards an office of the ruling Awami League party, an AFP correspondent said.

Hasina warned that a “third party” could sabotage the protests and put the safety of demonstrators at risk.

“That’s why I request all guardians and parents to keep their children at home. Whatever they have done is enough,” the Prime Minister said from her office.

Some youngsters were rushed to hospital on Saturday after being attacked, allegedly by pro-government activists, witnesses said.

Hasina’s warning came as protesters marched towards the scene of clashes chanting “We want justice!” Police denied they fired rubber bullets or tear gas at the protesters. However hospital staff said dozens of people had been injured, some seriously, and injuries were consistent with rubber bullets.

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