At least four people died today as Bangladeshi Islamists tried to enforce a general strike their demand the release of its leaders, who are accused of war crimes.
Jamaat-e-Islami called the 24-hour strike to press the government to scrap tribunals investigating crimes committed during the 1971 independence war.
Jamaat opposed independence and six of its leaders are accused of involvement in atrocities during the nine-month conflict.
A Jamaat leader told China's Xinhua news agency that two supporters in Bogra were killed by "ruling-party cadres" after "peaceful" picketing.
But Jamaat's "hartals" have been marked by significant violence and there were numerous reports of arson and vandalism from strikers.
Demonstrators reportedly threw homemade bombs at police.
Police officer Johurul Haque died of "shock" early in the day, according to Jessore's police chief.
He died of cardiac arrest after picketers threw rocks at police trying to disperse a rally shortly before the strike came into force at 6am.
And in Sylhet an activist was killed in clashes between factions of the Bangladesh National Party, which has joined Jamaat in dismissing the tribunals as "show trials."
The promise of violence ensured few shops in the capital Dhaka opened in defiance of the Islamists' strike, though government supporters staged rallies throughout the day.
Dozens were injured across the country as rival factions and police clashed.
In the first tribunal verdict on January 21, former Jamaat member Abul Kalam Azad was sentenced to death for crimes including genocide, murder, rape and arson.
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