DHAKA: The editor of Bangladesh's leading daily was injured Tuesday as fierce clashes broke out in Dhaka between police and supporters of the largest religious party which is demanding a halt to war crimes trials.
The protesters hurled home-made bombs and attacked vehicles with bricks as police fought back with rubber bullets and tear gas in Dhaka's busy Karwan Bazaar and Motijheel commercial districts, police and witnesses said.
Motiur Rahman, the editor of the mass circulation daily Prothom Alo, was injured after he was caught in the clashes near his office in central Dhaka, the daily said, adding his conditions was now stable.
Police inspector Firoz Ahmed told AFP that a Jamaat-e-Islami supporter was hit by bullet and was undergoing surgery. A woman was also hit by bullet at Karwan Bazaar, the online edition of Prothom Alo said.
Protesters hurled more than a dozen homemade bombs in Motijheel, triggering street battles with police who fired rubber bullets and tear gas, an AFP correspondent at the scene said. Dozens of people including police were injured.
The protesters were demanding a halt to the trials of Jamaat leaders for crimes including genocide and rape they allegedly committed during the country's 1971 war of independence against Pakistan.
A senior Jamaat leader was sentenced to life imprisonment last week for mass murder.
Eight other Jamaat officials, including its leader and deputy leader, are also being tried along with two officials of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
The opposition has called the trials politically motivated, designed as part of a wider vendetta against their leaders.
Rights groups have questioned the fairness of the hearings, saying the laws and procedures under which the opposition leaders are being tried fall short of international standards.
The trials have triggered deadly protests by Jamaat supporters across the country, leaving at least seven people dead and scores of policemen injured since last month.
The government says the trials are needed to heal the wounds of the nine-month war in which it says three million people were killed, many by pro-Pakistani militia whose members allegedly included Jamaat officials.