Dhaka: Officials and witnesses said scores of people were injured Saturday in a clash in Bangladesh’s capital between police and hundreds of Muslims who were protesting a film produced in the United States that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad.
Police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse the stone-throwing protesters, who were from about a dozen Islamic groups, a Dhaka Metropolitan Police official said on condition of anonymity in line with policy.
He said the clash erupted when police attempted to stop the demonstration. Authorities banned all protests near the city’s main Baitul Mokarram mosque starting late Friday to avoid unrest.
The official said dozens of protesters were arrested at the demonstration and inside the nearby National Press Club, where participants took refuge.
Witnesses said the protesters burned several vehicles, including a police van, during the melee.
The protesters announced a nationwide general strike on Sunday to protest the police action.
On Friday, more than 2,000 people marched in Dhaka and burned a makeshift coffin draped with an American flag with an effigy of President Barack Obama.