Bangladesh police break up Muslims protests, 22 killed

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At least 22 protesters were killed and dozens others were wounded as police in Bangladesh used stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse a huge demonstration by Muslim protesters in the capital.

Thousands fled as police took control of the central business district.

Up to half a million supporters of the group Hefazat-e Islam had gathered in the city to call for stronger Islamic policies. Rioters went on to set fire to shops and vehicles.

At least 22 people were killed and over hundred injured in clashes with police.

Some casualties suffered bullet wounds in the head, hospital sources said.

Thousands of Muslim activists were seen fleeing the Motijheel area as police moved in to take control of the area.

Early on Monday, a police spokesman said officers had secured the business district and were searching for protesters hiding in nearby buildings.

The area around the city centre’s largest mosque had turned into a battleground as police reacted to stone-throwing rioters with tear gas, rubber bullets and truncheons.

On Sunday, crowds of protesters blocked main roads, isolating Dhaka from other parts of the country.

Dhaka’s Daily Star newspaper reports that the group hired at least 3,000 vehicles, including buses, lorries and minibuses to bring demonstrators into the capital, while others travelled there by train.