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Dhaka clashes turn violent; mobile internet services snapped

Dhaka clashes turn violent; mobile internet services snapped

"Many schools have been closed as a result of the protests, depriving children of learning opportunities", it added.

Meanwhile, thousands of students gathered at Shahbagh intersection at around 1100 hrs, checking valid licences of drivers and blocking three sides of the intersection. The capital city has been affected owing to the protest.

What sparked the first protest?

Two college students in Dhaka were killed in a rash driving incident of a speeding bus on July 29 leading to huge protests. Bangladeshi news outlets reported that he later visited the families of one of the students killed by the bus to apologize.

An Associated Press journalist at the scene said many people, including some journalists, were injured in the clashes.

A group of University of Asia Pacific students were assaulted by a group of motorcycle-borne men and vandalised their campus near Farmgate in Dhaka on Sunday.

In a separate statement released Sunday, the US embassy described the protests as peaceful, adding that they had "captured the imagination of the whole country".

How did things turn violent?

A global human rights group on Tuesday accused Bangladesh's government of using abusive measures in handling student-led protests calling for safer roads. Bus services in the city and on routes to elsewhere in the country were cancelled.

"It was a peaceful rally, but suddenly police fired tear gas shells aimed at us that left several injured", Mohammad Atikur Rahman, one of the protesters, told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency.

Police have arrested social activist and photographer Shahidul Alam who had posted comments that a student wing of Hasina's ruling party was trying to attack the protesters. They also staged a demonstration at the Gabtoli Bus Terminal in Dhaka.

Separately, the vehicle of outgoing U.S. ambassador Marcia Bernicat was attacked by armed men, some on motorcycles, in Dhaka on Saturday, the embassy said in a statement. His colleagues said Alam was tortured after he was detained on Sunday night.

According to Al Jazeera, the government blocked mobile phone signals for 24 hours in a bid to halt the riots in the capital and across the country. Twelve were treated at Dhaka Medical Colleague Hospital, police inspector Bacchu Mia told AFP.

How have the students organised themselves?

Many have taken to Facebook and other social media platforms to express their concerns about the state of the nation.

Activists have also taken to social media in droves to call on local and worldwide media organisations to cover the story.

Government officials have called for an end to the protests. According to reports from local media channels, 3G and 4G services have been slowed down and suspended in some parts of the region for the past 24 hours to make it hard for students to organize protests.

"But for students going to school [in Bangladesh], there is no guarantee they will come home".

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