Thousands take to streets in Dhaka

Dhaka, September 18 :

An estimated 100,000 opposition activists gathered in the Bangladeshi capital today to demand reforms ahead of January general elections.

The crowd filled a downtown soccer field and streets around it, as some 12,000 security forces were deployed to prevent violence.

The rally was sponsored by an alliance of 14 opposition parties, led by former prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

The opposition wants the removal of four election commissioners, saying they are biased toward Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s four-party ruling coalition. The commissioners have denied the allegation and refused to resign.