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Protests claim 3 in Bangladesh

Feb. 24, 2013 at 3:44 PM

DHAKA, Bangladesh, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- At least three people were killed Sunday in continuing violent protests between Muslims and police in Bangladesh over anti-Islamic blog posts, police said.

Protesters called a general strike in the nation and tens of thousands took to the streets in the Muslim-majority country to call for the execution of several Internet bloggers who have posted screeds critical of the Prophet Mohammad, dredging up decades-old religious strife dating back to the nation's battle for independence from Pakistan, The Wall Street Journal said.

Secularists and non-Muslims have taken up protests of their own against the influence of Islamic leaders on the nation. That group is seeking the execution of Islamic politicians who they say committed war crimes during the 1971 revolution.

A prominent Islamic politician in Bangladesh was convicted of crimes against humanity during the uprising earlier this month, The Guardian said. Tensions have run high since and the blogs provided a flashpoint for both sides with protests raging for three weeks.

So far the protests have claimed 10 lives.

On Sunday, they sprang up across the country, BDNews24.com said, including around a government-run college. Rickshaw and motorbike processions were prevalent throughout the day in the capital, Dhaka.

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