- The Washington Times - Monday, May 6, 2013

Islamic hardliners in Bangladesh’s capital city calling for a law against blasphemy have clashed with police, and at least 15 have been reported dead.

Protesters blocked roads and burned tires outside Khaka, and security forces responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, The U.K. Guardian reported. The violence lasted more than five hours, local media reported. Among the dead were protesters and police.

The protests were staged by Islamic activists who have been demanding lawmakers to pass anti-blasphemy laws. Bangladesh legislators refuse, The Guardian reported. The area may be dominated by Muslims, but the government should hold fast to secular law, they insist.

Police, meanwhile, have put out a statement that bans all rallies in the region until midnight on Monday, The Guardian reported.

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