Bangladeshi mob burns train as protesters clash with police

A Bangladeshi mob torched a train and protesters battled police, a day after an attack on a rally killed 19 people.

A Bangladeshi mob torched a passenger train and protesters battled police on Sunday, a day after a grenade attack on a political rally killed 19 people and injured hundreds.

Supporters of the opposition Awami League of former prime minister Sheikh Hasina stormed a train in the town of Bhairab, about 80 kilometres from the capital city of Dhaka, railway officials said.

They forced about 600 passengers to flee, then doused the train with gasoline and set it on fire. About 20 people were injured.

Clashes between protesters and police also erupted in other Bangladeshi cities on Sunday, reportedly injuring at least 30 people.

Police arrested more than 200 opposition supporters in Chittagong, 225 kilometres southeast of Dhaka, news reports said.

Nearly 25,000 people marched through the streets in Dhaka after attending a mass funeral prayer for the dead.

The violence was triggered by a series of grenades that ripped through a political rally in Bangladesh Saturday, killing 19 and injuring more than 300.

The first bomb went off during a speech by Hasina, the country's main opposition leader. Asami League party officials say Hasina's bodyguard was killed, while she suffered only minor injuries

No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts, the latest in a spate of bombings that have marred the country's election season.

The Awami League called for nationwide general strikes on Tuesday and Wednesday to protest.

It is demanding that Prime Minister Khaleda Zia step down, accusing the government of corruption and harassment of political opponents.

Zia's government has denied the allegations and vowed to remain in power until its term ends in 2006.