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Riots, bombs in Bangladesh opposition-led strike

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 11, 2012 at 7:37 a.m.

— Explosions of homemade bombs were reported across the Bangladeshi capital Tuesday as opposition activists enforcing a day-long general strike rioted and clashed with police.

Police fired tear gas to disperse crowds of people who were smashing vehicles. It was not immediately clear whether anyone was injured in the violence described by witnesses and television reports in parts of the capital, Dhaka.

A coalition of 18 opposition parties was enforcing the strike to demand that a caretaker government be restored before the next national elections due in 2014, while a key coalition partner wants their leaders facing charges of crimes against humanity to be freed from jail.

Schools and businesses remained closed in Dhaka and other major cities and towns Tuesday, and transportation was largely disrupted across Bangladesh, a parliamentary democracy that has a history of fierce political violence.

Amid the violence, the United States on Tuesday urged the two main political parties to resolve their disputes through dialogue.

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