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.
The entire country came to a standstill and there have been scenes of violence in the streets of the capital, Dhaka.
Thousands of students staged protests and called out for improvements to road safety after the two teenagers were killed by a speeding bus.
Authorities have pleaded with demonstrators to call off protests that have nearly paralysed Dhaka and prompted foreign embassies to issue travel alerts.
Thousands of students wearing school uniforms defied rain to block major intersections in the capital.
Teens as young as 13 were seen on clogged roadways checking whether cars and buses had valid licenses and were in a roadworthy condition.
Slogans and placards saying 'We want justice' were seen as the students gathered in some of Dhaka's main public squares.
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.
The education ministry shut down high schools on Thursday in an effort to quell unrest.
The ministry also promised students that their demands for road safety reforms would be considered. (Reuters)
Several powerful ministers pleaded with students to return to their classes.
The ministers were worried that the unprecedented teen outrage could turn into widespread anti-government protests ahead of general elections due later this year.
Dhaka suffers from daily gridlock but congestion has been exacerbated by blockades set up across the city since last Sunday.
On Sunday, August 5, Bangladeshi police fired tear gas at the students to disperse them from protesting for the eighth consecutive day.
The students blocked roads, only letting emergency vehicles through, and the government has threatened to get tougher if the protests become too disruptive.
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.
The protest blocked major intersections in the city compelling bus operators to suspend their services. (Reuters)
Stating that non-student 'saboteurs' were using school uniforms and ID cards, PM Sheikh Hasina warned that a 'third party' could sabotage the protest.
The PM's call came as authorities overnight shut down mobile internet services across swathes of the country.
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.
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.