Bangladesh government blocks mobile internet after protests turn violent

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Police in Bangladesh's capital have fired tear gas and used batons to disperse hundreds of protesting students angry over the traffic deaths of two fellow students, leaving scores injured.

Bangladeshi expatriates have been thoroughly vocal about their support regarding the student protests taking place in the capital as well as the rest of the country.

The report further stated that dozens of protesters were attacked by people alleged to be ruling party activists, some armed with machetes, in Dhaka's Dhanmondi neighbourhood.

The protests began when young people took to the streets peacefully after a boy and girl were killed by a speeding bus last Sunday.

As the protests grew in recent days, students stopped vehicles - including those belonging to government officials - to ask them for their papers and licences.

High schools were shut on Thursday as officials promised students their demands for road safety reforms would be considered.

The eight journalists also include - Prothom Alo's staff correspondent Ahmed Deepto, Associated Press (AP) photo-journalist AM Ahad, Daily Banik Barta's Palash and freelancer Rahat Karim.

Bangladesh's 'Awami League Government' has made several attempts to stop the protest of students running for a week but the movement is still in progress.

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Rights group Amnesty International called for Alam's immediate and unconditional release, saying he was held after an interview to Al-Jazeera English on the Dhaka protests.

Activists have also taken to social media in droves to call on local and global media organisations to cover the story.

With the protest movement nearly entirely driven by young people, its unsurprising that social media has played a key role, in both spreading the initial news about the two killed as well as in organising the demonstrations.

The Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission said it would comment later Sunday. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal spoke on the government's behalf this week, saying "all the demands raised by the agitating students are logical, and the process to implement those demands is underway". The government blocked 3G and 4G internet services for a period on Saturday evening - disrupting protesters' efforts to organise and share their actions.

The protests, according to Shahidul Alam, famous photographer and social activist, were driven by larger factors than road safety alone. More than 100 people were injured as police fired rubber bullets at demonstrators marching toward an office of the ruling Awami League party.

Earlier the embassy had criticised the police crackdown on the protesters, whom it described as having "united and captured the imagination of the whole country".

"We express our appreciation to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police and security officials for their quick and professional response following the incident", the Embassy said in a statement.

Dhaka-Mawa Bus Owners' Welfare Association president Ali Akbar said they were afraid to run their buses for possible vandalism.

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