A student leader of Bangladesh's ruling party was hacked to death in a northern town Tuesday as violent clashes marked the second day of strike called by the country's opposition parties.
Main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its 17 allies have enforced the strike to protest the arrest of over 150 of its senior leaders and activists in a recent police raid in its headquarters in the capital Dhaka.
The arrests followed deadly unrest stemming from the trials of 10 leaders from country's largest Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami and two from the BNP for atrocities committed during the nation's 1971 war of independence against Pakistan.
The student leader of the ruling Awami League was hacked to death allegedly by BNP supporters during clashes at Gopalpur, local police chief Monir Hossain said. "We have arrested 12 BNP supporters in this connection," he told AFP.
Clashes, torching of vehicles and vandalism were also reported in other parts of the country, including the capital Dhaka.
Police said they fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters in northwestern city of Rajshahi after the strikers threw petrol bombs and rocks at the law-enforcers, leading to the injuries of seven policemen.
The current strike, the 14th since the start of the year, has disrupted life across the country. Schools and businesses were closed and motorways were empty, as deliveries between rural areas and cities were suspended.
Top trade groups have asked the opposition to call off the strike, saying it was hurting the key garment export. They said some Western retailers have diverted orders from the country amid worries over timely shipments.
Security was tight in the capital Tuesday, with about 10,000 policemen and border guards patrolling the strike-hit empty streets, police said.
At least 86 people have been killed since the first war crimes verdict was announced on January 21.