Bangladesh (AFP)--Bangladesh police fired live rounds in fierce clashes with Islamists demanding the execution of bloggers they accuse of blasphemy.
Two people were shot dead by police in the northwestern town of Palashbari, and two others died elsewhere, police said.
Parts of the capital Dhaka were turned into a battlefield as thousands of protesters attacked police with bricks and sticks in front of the national mosque. Officers there retaliated with rubber bullets and tear gas.
The country's 12 Islamic parties called the protests after Friday prayers in nearly half a million mosques nationwide, demanding the execution of bloggers whom they say blasphemed Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.
Tensions have risen in the Muslim-majority nation over allegedly anti-Islamic blog posts by Ahmed Rajib Haider, who was hacked to death last week near his home in Dhaka.
In recent weeks Haider and fellow bloggers had launched huge protests demanding a ban on the largest Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami, and the execution of its leaders for alleged war crimes in the 1971 independence conflict with Pakistan.
Since Haider's death, Bangladeshi social media has been flooded with his alleged blog posts and with those by other bloggers mocking Islam, triggering protests by a number of Islamic groups and clerics.
At Palashbari at least 4000 Islamists attacked police with home-made bombs and sticks, prompting officers to respond with live fire, district police chief Nahidul Islam told AFP.
At least four people were killed and about 200 injured. (Continue Reading.)
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Four Dead, 200 Injured in Bangladeshi Blogger Blasphemy Riots
But it would be racist and bigoted to have any objections to Sharia blasphemy laws. Let's ignore the actual fruits of Sharia, and continue combating the deadly mental disease called "Islamophobia."