Bangladesh police clash with anti-government protesters in Dhaka
Clashes erupt in several locations when police moved in to clear thousands of protesters who gathered to block traffic on key arterials around Bangladesh's capital city.
Bangladesh police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse stone-throwing crowds blockading major roads in the capital Dhaka on Saturday in the latest protest demanding the Prime Minister's resignation.
The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its allies have staged a series of protests since last year demanding PM Sheikh Hasina to step down and allow a caretaker government to oversee elections due next January.
Clashes erupted in several locations when police moved in to clear thousands of people who gathered in the morning to block traffic on key arterials around the city.
"Some officers were injured," Dhaka Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Faruk Hossain told AFP. "We fired tear gas and rubber bullets."
At least four protest sites around the city saw clashes between police and protesters, Hossain said, with 20 officers injured and 90 protesters arrested.
Bacchu Mia, a police inspector at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, told AFP that six protesters had been admitted to the hospital with injuries.
Senior BNP leaders Goyeshwar Roy and Amanullah Aman had been taken into police custody but had not been formally arrested, Hossain said.
Transport links between the capital and other parts of the country were badly disrupted, with trucks and buses stuck in gridlock.
Prime Minister Hasina's Awami League party has ruled Bangladesh since 2009 and has been accused of human rights abuses, corruption, and authoritarianism.
Demonstrations led by the BNP have become increasingly common since the start of the year, with rallies this month drawing tens of thousands of people to the streets. Police arrested at least 500 opposition activists ahead of a rally outside the party's headquarters this week.