Violent clashes spread in Bangladesh

Updated 05 December 2012
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Violent clashes spread in Bangladesh

DHAKA: Protesters from Bangladesh’s largest Islamic party clashed with security forces in cities across the country yesterday in violence that has left one dead, police said.
Jamaat-e-Islami called a strike yesterday to protest against the arrest and trial of its leaders, who face charges of war crimes during the country’s 1971 liberation struggle.
An 18-year-old youth was shot dead on Monday night during clashes in the northern town of Chirirbandar, 300 km from the capital Dhaka, and unrest spread to other cities yesterday.
Jamaat supporters torched and damaged about 20 vehicles in Dhaka yesterday and 69 people were detained on charges of violence.
Violence was also reported in the eastern town of Brahmanbaria and in the cities of Sylhet, Rajshahi and Narayanganj.
The dead 18-year-old was admitted to hospital on Monday with a gun shot wound to the head after a demonstration at which police admitted firing live ammunition to control the crowd, hospital and police sources said.
“We fired seven rounds of live bullets, rubber bullets and tear gas shells,” local police chief Tariqul Islam said, saying that the cause of the activist’s death was unclear.
Shihidul Islam, a nurse at Rangpur Medical College Hospital, said the activist died as he was brought to the clinic. “He has a bullet shot in his head,” he said.
The government blames Jamaat for much of the killing in the bloody nine-month war against Pakistan, in which it says about three million people died.
But the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), created in 2010 to try war crimes suspects, has been widely criticized as being a political tool for the ruling Awami League government to target its opponents.


Germany’s Merkel calls for solutions to Iran’s “aggressive tendencies”

Updated 36 min 2 sec ago
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Germany’s Merkel calls for solutions to Iran’s “aggressive tendencies”

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel: Iran’s aggressive tendencies must not only be discussed, but rather we need solutions urgently.
  • Germany remained party to the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbing its atomic program, after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May.

AMMAN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said European countries shared concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program and called for solutions to its “aggressive tendencies” in the Middle East.
“Iran’s aggressive tendencies must not only be discussed, but rather we need solutions urgently,” she said after meeting Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman.
Germany remained party to the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbing its atomic program, after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May.
Merkel said on Thursday that while European countries wanted to maintain the 2015 accord, they shared concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program, its presence in Syria and its role in the war in Yemen.
In Syria, Iran is a big military supporter of President Bashar Assad, sending some of its own forces there and backing Shiite militias from Lebanon and Iraq who are fighting on the ground. Gulf and Western countries accuse Tehran of arming the Houthi group in Yemen, which it denies.
Merkel said earlier this month after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the question of Iran’s regional influence was “worrying, especially for Israel’s security.”
Abdullah, who met Netanyahu on Monday and spoke by phone with Trump’s son-in-law and regional envoy Jared Kushner on Tuesday, said there could be no peace in the Middle East without a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
The United States is preparing a new peace plan, which has not yet been made public, but has already angered Palestinians by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Abdullah this month appointed a new prime minister after the country’s biggest protests in years over taxes and price increases pushed by the International Monetary Fund.
Merkel said reforms should be balanced and “not hit the wrong people.”