2 die in violence during general strike in Bangladesh as opposition pushes for caretaker gov't

Bangladesh's opposition alliance enforced a nationwide strike Monday marred by violence that resulted in two deaths.

A 40-year-old man belonging to the ruling Awami League party was stabbed to death by opposition supporters after a street altercation as the protesters tried to stop vehicles defying the shutdown in the central district of Jamalpur, local police official Qazi Sayedur Rahman said.

In the southeastern district of Chittagong, a trucker lost control of his vehicle when it was attacked by the strike supporters, said local police official Nazmul Hasan. The 32-year-old driver died at the scene when his truck overturned.

Meanwhile, at least 50 people were injured when a train derailed in northern Lalmonirhat district as the strike supporters uprooted the rail line, Channel 24 TV station reported.

In Dhaka, the opposition supporters torched an office of the ruling party at dawn, Fire Service and Civil Defense official Mohammad Ali said.

TV stations reported that scores were injured in clashes in parts of the country.

At least 13 people have died since Friday in violence as the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and an 18-party alliance led by opposition leader Khaleda Zia disagree over forming a caretaker government. The opposition began the three-day general strike on Sunday to force the government to quit and form an independent government to oversee an election due by early next year.

The caretaker system of forming a government from outside the parties has been used for 15 years but the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. The opposition blames the government, saying it has been done to rig the election, an allegation authorities have rejected.

The opposition has threatened to boycott the election. The government has proposed forming an all-party government instead.