Bangladesh paralysed by opposition strike

Thousands of riot police patrolled the streets of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on Monday as a nationwide strike called by the main opposition party paralysed much of the country.

At least eight buses were set on fire overnight, police said, just hours before the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) enforced the strike to protest against controversial plans for a new airport and rocketing food prices.

All shops, businesses and schools were shut and major roads in and around the capital were deserted.

“At least 8,500 police have been deployed in Dhaka. Security is tight and there are no reports of violence from anywhere,” the deputy commissioner of Dhaka police, Habibur Rahman, told AFP.