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Protests Paralyse Bangladesh Capital As Group Makes Demands

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Thousands of protesters took the street in Bangladesh on Monday image credit: AFP

Thousands of protesters took the street in Bangladesh on Monday
image credit: AFP

A newly created religious group, Hefazaat is demanding the death penalty for all those it says are defaming Islam.

The group has held a mass protest geared at pushing a 13-point list of demands which also include a ban on men and women mixing freely together and the restoration of pledges to Allah in the constitution, a protest that got out of hand.

The government in Bangladesh has therefore cracked down on protests, taking a television station off-air and transferring the man at the head of the group that instigated the deadly protests out of Dhaka under police escort.

Allama Shah Ahmad Shafi was taken out of the Hefazaat-e-Islam headquarters on Monday before being put on an aircraft to the country’s second largest city, Chittagong. Police said, however, that Shafi had not been arrested.

Tens of thousands of Hefazaat supporters, demanding an anti-blasphemy law with provision for the death penalty, rallied near a commercial district of Dhaka early on Monday.

Violence soon began spilling beyond the city, with at least two police officers and a border guard reported dead in Narayanganj, about 20km outside Dhaka.

At least 24 people have reportedly been killed in clashes on Monday alone.

More than 10,000 forces drawn from police, the elite Rapid Action Battalion and paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh jointly launched a drive late on Sunday to clear demonstrators from a major thoroughfare in Dhaka.

The security forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas when they launched the eviction drive.

But while the main street was largely cleared, protesters scattered into side streets and continued to battle police, officials said early on Monday.

The protesters had announced their determination to shut down the main business hub Motijheel until the government accepted their demands.

Demonstrators attacked the headquarters of the country’s Awami League, set fire to more than 100 shops and at least 50 parked cars, and vandalised many other buildings.

Supporters of Hefazaat carried sticks and had blocked major entry points to the city, sealing off Dhaka.

Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Bangladesh prime minister, has said the existing laws already have sufficient safeguards to address the protesters’ concerns.

She said on Friday, that the government “will not allow any chaos in the name of Islam, a religion of peace”.

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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