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Opposition parties enforce strike in Bangladesh

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May 26, 2013 08:10 AM EST | AP

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DHAKA, Bangladesh — Police say opposition activists have set off homemade bombs and smashed several vehicles in Bangladesh's capital as they enforce a general strike demanding that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina resign before general elections.

Many stores and schools are closed in Dhaka on Sunday and few vehicles are plying the roads.

Police official Monirul Islam says no one has been injured, and more than 10,000 security forces have been deployed.

An alliance of 18 opposition parties called a nationwide dawn-to-dusk shutdown.

The opposition wants Hasina to hand over power to a non-partisan caretaker administration before the elections, due early next year. The government says the demand is unconstitutional.

The opposition says polls under Hasina's government would not be free or fair.

General strikes are a common opposition tactic in Bangladesh.