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Cablegate: Two Awami League Mp's Injured in Clashes With

VZCZCXRO8196
PP RUEHCI
DE RUEHKA #5797 2551234
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121234Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1523
INFO RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 1270
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 9325
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 7560
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 8678
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1513
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL CALCUTTA
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC

UNCLAS DHAKA 005797

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL BG
SUBJECT: TWO AWAMI LEAGUE MP'S INJURED IN CLASHES WITH
POLICE


1. (SBU) Approximately 100 persons, including Awami League
MP's Mohammaed Nasim, a former Home Minister, and
Assaduzzaman Nur received modest injuries today during the
opposition's march on the Prime Minister's Office, according
to press and police reports. Police used tear gas and batons
to repel thousands of demonstrators in three downtown areas
as they tried to breach barricades erected to deny them
access to a broad exclusion zone around the Prime Minister's
Office. Nearly 10,000 police, Rapid Action Battalion, and
Bangladesh Rifles personnel were deployed to thwart the
opposition's program demanding changes in Bangladesh's
electoral system. Some buses and other vehicles were
reported damaged.

2. (SBU) At a barricade in Russell Square, near the trendy
Dhanmondi area, 2,000 demonstrators threw bricks and stones
at police, injuring about 15. Police responded by pushing
demonstrators into the surrounding residential area. In the
Mohakali area, 5,000 demonstrators were tear-gased,
reportedly after several molotov cocktails exploded.

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3. (SBU) According to his son, MP Assaduzzaman Nur was
treated and released from hospital. He claimed that police
deliberately targeted his father, hitting him several times
with sticks.

4. (SBU) As of 1600 local, all clashes have ended and all
roads are open. Awami League leaders are meeting at 1830 to
review the day's developments and discuss next steps.

5. (SBU) Comment: Today's modest level of violence would not
appear to justify a retaliatory general strike, especially
since the Awami League is focused on a grand rally at the
Purana Paltan parade grounds on September 18. To their
credit, police continue to show relative restraint, despite
some clear provocations.
BUTENIS

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