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Train derails in Bangladesh hartal violence, some 40 injured


09:05, April 03, 2013

DHAKA, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Some 40 people were injured Tuesday morning when six compartments and the locomotive of a passenger train veered off the tracks in eastern Bangladesh as miscreants removed several fish-plates hours of before the opposition sponsored hartal began.

Nazrul Islam, superintendent of Railway Police, told Xinhua the railway communications between Dhaka and premier seaport city Chittagong, some 242 km southeast of capital Dhaka, also came to a halt due to the derailment that occurred early morning.

"Some 40 passengers were injured in the accident but none critically," he said.

He said a salvage train has started rescue operation of the compartments which derailed from the track near a station in Comilla, some 96 km east of capital Dhaka, halting the capital Dhaka-southeastern Chittagong seaport city railway services.

Islam said railway authorities could not ascertain yet when the rail communications between Dhaka and Chittagong will be restored.

"The accident took place at about 4:40 a.m. (local time) near a station in Comilla," he said and pointed fingers at the hartal pickets for removal of the fish-plates from the railway tracks early Tuesday, a couple of hours before the beginning of a countrywide shutdown.

Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's 18-party alliance, which enforced the nationwide general strike demanding release of 148 opposition men detained in a recent police raid on their party headquarters, said it is also to protest what it said "government' s corruption, misrule, oppression and mass killings..."

In pre-hartal violence Monday, dozens of vehicles were reportedly set on fire and damaged fully or partially across Bangladesh.

Stray incidents of clash, arson, vandalism, chase and counter- chase, detention have been reported in capital Dhaka and elsewhere in the country in the early hours of Tuesday's hartal. Scores of cocktails were reportedly exploded in parts of Bangladesh and capital Dhaka.

Riot police shot rubber bullets and tear gas shells to disperse stone-throwing protesters in Dhaka and in parts of Bangladesh during the early hours of hartal which crippled normal life.

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