Three killed in Islamist clashes with police in Bangladesh

May 5, 2013 at 11:45 AM

PALTAN, Bangladesh, May 5 (UPI) -- A series of clashes between police and radical Islamists in Bangladesh Sunday resulted in three deaths and around 50 injuries, authorities said.

Rocks, tear gas and rubber bullets flew in the streets of at least four cities where supporters of the Hifazat-e-Islam movement pressed the government to accept a list of 13 demands, which included banning so-called obscene movies from Bangladesh.

The rioting caused three deaths, including the driver of a bus the protesters commandeered, Bdnews.24 said.

An armored vehicle had failed to budge a crowd of Hifazat-e-Islam supporters in Paltan, triggering a running battle that lasted into Sunday afternoon. The Hifazat crowd had set up a makeshift book stall near the office of the Communist Party of Bangladesh and pelted police with rocks when they moved in.

Police told Bdnews.24 they fired hundreds of rounds of gas and rubber bullets during the skirmishes.

A Hifazat leader later told Bdnews.24 the troublemakers were from a different Islamist group that had infiltrated what was supposed to have been a peaceful rally.

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