For over a week, Bangladesh has been gripped by mass protests triggered by the death of two children in a road accident on July 29. The protestors, mostly students, are demanding that the government take action to improve road safety in the country.
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The entire country came to a standstill and there have been scenes of violence in the streets of the capital, Dhaka.
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Thousands of students staged protests and called out for improvements to road safety after the two teenagers were killed by a speeding bus.
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Authorities have pleaded with demonstrators to call off protests that have nearly paralysed Dhaka and prompted foreign embassies to issue travel alerts.
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Thousands of students wearing school uniforms defied rain to block major intersections in the capital.
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Teens as young as 13 were seen on clogged roadways checking whether cars and buses had valid licenses and were in a roadworthy condition.
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Slogans and placards saying 'We want justice' were seen as the students gathered in some of Dhaka's main public squares.
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Bangladesh's transport sector is widely seen as corrupt, unregulated and dangerous, and as news of the teenagers' deaths became a catalyst for public anger after spreading rapidly on social media.
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The education ministry shut down high schools on Thursday in an effort to quell unrest.
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The ministry also promised students that their demands for road safety reforms would be considered. (Reuters)
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Several powerful ministers pleaded with students to return to their classes.
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The ministers were worried that the unprecedented teen outrage could turn into widespread anti-government protests ahead of general elections due later this year.
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Dhaka suffers from daily gridlock but congestion has been exacerbated by blockades set up across the city since last Sunday.
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On Sunday, August 5, Bangladeshi police fired tear gas at the students to disperse them from protesting for the eighth consecutive day.
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The students blocked roads, only letting emergency vehicles through, and the government has threatened to get tougher if the protests become too disruptive.
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In response to the unrest, the government launched a week-long drive to check vehicle certificates in a bid to improve traffic safety, but said it would not tolerate more disruption by the protesters.
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The protest blocked major intersections in the city compelling bus operators to suspend their services. (Reuters)
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Stating that non-student 'saboteurs' were using school uniforms and ID cards, PM Sheikh Hasina warned that a 'third party' could sabotage the protest.
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The PM's call came as authorities overnight shut down mobile internet services across swathes of the country.
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Transport workers, who went on a virtual shutdown citing security reasons for the past eight days took to the street and clashed with protestors, prompting police to use batons and tear gas canisters.
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The embassies of the US and Australia warned of significant delays and disruptions as a result of the protests across Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.