September 20, 2008 / 6:18 PM / 9 years ago

Police break up Bangladesh protest, 50 hurt

<p>Police conduct a search on people at a checkpoint in the university area in Dhaka September 20, 2008. Bangladesh was checking the security situation on Saturday after an Islamic group threatened violence across the country if detained members were not released by Sunday, officials said.Andrew Biraj</p>

DHAKA (Reuters) - At least 50 people were injured on Saturday when Bangladeshi police used batons to disperse a protest by textile workers demanding to be paid early ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr festival, police and witnesses said.

Police said more than 3,000 workers took to the streets and vandalized a garment factory, damaged dozens of vehicles and blocked a busy street in the Malibag area of the capital Dhaka for several hours.

"We went into action when violent workers started damaging vehicles," a police officer at the scene told Reuters.

The country has some 4,000 garment factories, employing around 2.2 million workers, mostly women.

Reporting by Nizam Ahmed; Editing by Mariam Karouny

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