Friday, February 23, 2018

Bangladesh police, prophet film protesters clash

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Scores of people were injured Saturday in clashes in Bangladesh's capital between police and hundreds of demonstrators, as protests by Muslims continued against a film that insults the prophet Mohammed.

The film has sparked violent protests throughout the Muslim world that resulted in the deaths of dozens, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

In Bangladesh, police fired tear gas and used batons on Saturday to disperse the stone-throwing protesters, who were from about a dozen Islamic groups.

The protesters burned several vehicles, including a police van, witnesses said.

Dozens of protesters were arrested at the demonstration and inside the nearby National Press Club, where participants took refuge, a Dhaka Metropolitan Police official said on condition of anonymity in line with police policy. Police and witnesses said scores of people were injured.

The clash erupted when authorities attempted to halt the demonstration, police said. Authorities have banned all protests near the city's main Baitul Mokarram mosque since Friday, when more than 2,000 people marched and burned an effigy of President Barack Obama.

The protesters announced a nationwide general strike today to protest the police action.

Thousands of people also protested Saturday in Nigeria's largest city. The crowd marched from a mosque to the palace of the Emir of Kano, the region's top Muslim spiritual leader.

Also, about 200 students in Srinagar, the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir, chanted "Down with America" and "Long live Islam" in a protest.

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