Bangladesh arrests 5 prominent opposition leaders ahead of nationwide strike

Bangladeshi authorities have arrested three senior leaders of the main opposition party amid increasing tensions ahead of next year's elections.

Police detectives arrested Moudud Ahmed, M.K. Anwar and Rafiqul Islam Mia on late Friday, hours after an alliance led by main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party announced a new round of a 72-hour nationwide strike.

Police also arrested a prominent businessman who is tied to the main opposition party and another aide of opposition leader Khaleda Zia early Saturday.

Information Minister Hasanul Huq Inu says the arrests were carried out on charges of instigating attacks on people and property.

The strike is due to start Sunday morning to pressure the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to quit and appoint a caretaker to oversee the elections.