Dhaka: Violence continued unabated on the second day of the 48-hour nationwide strike in Bangladesh on Monday as the death toll rose to 83 in clashes that erupted after the conviction of three top Islamist leaders for 1971 war crimes. Fresh clashes on Monday killed three people, including a teenage boy, and at least 18 injured in Satkhira and Sirajganj after police opened fire on unruly pickets during the strike called by Jamaat.
Three compartments of a train were badly burnt when alleged Jamaat-Shibir men hurled a bomb at the train at Kamalapur Railway Station, police said, adding no-one was hurt in the attack. Railways Minister Mazibul Hoque, after visiting the spot, accused Jamaat-Shibir men for the attack. "A loud explosion was heard first and the fire engulfed three compartments within seconds," a senior official with Bangladesh Railway told The Daily Star newspaper.
Railway officials rushed to the spot hearing the blast but three compartments were burnt before they managed to bring the fire under control. Violence in the country escalated on Thursday when a death sentence was handed down to 73-year-old Delwar Hossain Sayedee, vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami, by International Crimes Tribunal.
The two-day strike called by Jamaat coincided with President Pranab Mukherjee's maiden visit to the country. Another shutdown has been called by the fundamentalist outfit's alliance partner and main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by Khaleda Zia on the last day of the visit by Mukherjee on March 5, 2013.
Earlier on Monday, a low intensity crude cocktail bomb exploded outside a hote, where Mukherjee is staying. Police said there was no casualty in the incident.