Massive riots in Dhaka and other Bangladesh cities have left at least 36 people dead and 60 injured after tens of thousands of Islamists clashed with police demanding stricter penalties for atheist bloggers.
The demonstrators "were very aggressive, some people were throwing stones and the situation quickly become violent ... the police had no option but to respond," one eyewitness told BBC News.
"Rioters vandalized markets and set fire to bookshops where the Holy Koran is sold. Thousands of Koran and religious books burned. They also attacked the ruling party's political office and national mosque," the man added. more >>
Hopes are beginning to fade in Bangladesh to find more survivors in the rubble of the eight-story building that collapsed last week, as the death toll rose to 380 victims.
"There is little hope of finding anyone alive. Our men went inside and saw some dead bodies in the ground floor. But no one was seen alive," said Brig. Gen. Ali Ahmed Khan, the chief of the fire brigade.
Meanwhile, the owner of the building where 3,000 people were employed has been arrested while trying to escape to India. Mohammed Sohel Rana will now face charges of negligence, The Associated Press said, as authorities believe he did not provide a proper warning about the cracks inside Rana Plaza, where five garment factories were operating when it collapsed. more >>
A number of major atheist organizations have been put in a tough spot over planned protests against Bangladesh, after the country suffered a national disaster on Wednesday that left hundreds of people dead.
American Atheists and secular groups from around the world had planned to protest on Thursday outside of Bengali embassies around the world over the arrest and imprisonment of several atheist bloggers. The South Asian country, which is heavily Muslim, has been cracking down on those criticizing the faith and the government, accusing them of blasphemy and insulting Islam.
The country declared a national day of mourning on Thursday, however, after a massive building collapse in Bangladesh that left over 230 dead and 1,000 injured, with workers still digging out survivors from the incident. As a consequence, a number of planned rallies in support of the atheist bloggers have now been pushed back, but others have continued. more >>
A massive building collapse in Bangladesh on Wednesday has left over 200 people dead with rescue workers still trying to dig out many others from the rubble on Thursday.
"Save us, brother. I beg you, brother. I want to live," one distraught man told an Associated Press cameraman as rescue workers helped remove the concrete slabs that pinned him down. "It's so painful here ... I have two little children."
The disaster occurred in the Dhaka suburb of Savar, and according to officials is the biggest single loss of life the country has suffered. Police had ordered the unstable buildings to be evacuated a day earlier, but more than 2,000 people were still on-site when the eight-story building collapsed. more >>
Bangladesh authorities have arrested a fourth atheist blogger and charged him with defaming Islam, as part of an effort to clamp down on religious offenses over the Internet.
"(Blogger) Asif Mohiuddin has been arrested on charges of hurting religious sentiment through his writings on blogs and Facebook," a police spokesman said, according to ZeeNews.com.
Mohiuddin, 29, is a prominent figure in Dhaka, the capital, and was viciously attacked by Islamists in January, who stabbed him repeatedly when he was leaving work one night, and left him fighting for his life. more >>
Clashes in Bangladesh have left four people dead and over 200 injured as Islamists demanded on Friday the execution of atheist bloggers who are being accused of blasphemy.
IBN Live reported that police were forced into using rubber bullets and tear gas canisters to disperse Islamist radicals, many of whom were reportedly assembled by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) party, leaving Dhaka looking like a battle scene.
Violent clashes broke out in front of the Baitul Mukarram national mosque, where protesters injured a dozen journalists while police attempted to protect worshippers inside the mosque. more >>