22 Dead in Protests in Bangladesh Demanding Death Penalty for Blasphemy

Islamic extremists upset government's said country governed by liberal, secular laws


Fighting broke out as police and paramilitary guards used tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets to control an estimated 70,000 demonstrators demanding a new anti-blasphemy law and the death penalty for a group of 'atheist bloggers.'

Several hundred thousand supporters of the conservative Hefazat-e Islami group, which is based on Bangladesh's traditional madrassa religious schools, launched their protest on Sunday when they blocked several key roads into the city and clashed with police. Several of their supporters were killed when police opened fire on them.