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BNP supporter killed in fresh political violence

At least 10 others were injured when supporters of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and the main opposition Awami League clashed.

india Updated: Dec 20, 2006 17:04 IST

A man was killed and at least 10 were injured in a remote village in western Bangladesh Wednesday as fresh political violence flared ahead of an opposition party strike, police said.

Supporters of the outgoing Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the main opposition Awami League clashed with knives and machetes at Bishnapur village in Jhenidah district, local police chief Iqbal Hossain said.

"A young supporter of the BNP was chopped with a machete by his rivals during the clashes. He died after he was rushed to hospital," Hossain said, adding that at least 10 more were injured in the clashes.

The latest death brings to at least 35 the number killed in pre-election political violence. Thousands have also been injured in the clashes.

The Awami League and its allies have called a nationwide strike for Thursday to try to force the country's interim government to adopt reforms they say are necessary for free and fair elections.

The opposition and its allies have threatened to boycott the national elections scheduled for January, unless the caretaker administration carries out the reforms and sets a new date for the vote.

Awami leader Sheikh Hasina Wajed on Monday told a mass rally the interim government had not yet created an atmosphere in which fair elections could be held.

She demanded a total overhaul of the election commission, including the removal of two controversial commissioners who are accused of favouring the BNP, an updated voter list, and the removal of at least 300 election officials appointed by the BNP government.

Earlier this month, the government was forced to call out the army to keep order, after the opposition called repeated strikes and protests to press its demands.

First Published: Dec 20, 2006 17:04 IST