Date
12 December 2017
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has denounced the protesters as militants engaged in terrorism, not politics. Photo: Bloomberg
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has denounced the protesters as militants engaged in terrorism, not politics. Photo: Bloomberg

Bangladesh rounds up 7,000 opposition activists

More than 7,000 opposition activists have been arrested by Bangladesh authorities since the start of nationwide protests two weeks ago.

The unrest has killed 29 people in a wave of bombings and road blockades, BBC News reported Thursday, citing government ministers.

Opposition leader Khaleda Zia called for protests on the anniversary of last year’s election.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina denounced the opposition as militants.

She said activists were not engaging in politics but terrorism.

Both leaders have frequently called for general strikes and blockades while in opposition.

They have alternated in power for most of the past two decades but analysts say Hasina now has the upper hand.

Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu said 7,015 activists and leaders of opposition groups have been arrested.

He offered a reward of 100,000 taka (US$1,300) for information leading to the arrest of any of the protest leaders.

The authorities are considering a shoot-on-site policy for anyone involved in looting or other violent disturbances.

Most of those who have died in the protests have been motorists and bus drivers caught in bombings. It is unclear who carried out the attacks.

Ms Zia was put under house arrest at the start of the protests but has since been released.

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CG/RA

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