At least two persons were killed and nearly 40 injured in clashes Monday as violence returned to Bangladeshi streets during a 60-hour nationwide strike called by opposition parties demanding a neutral caretaker government to oversee the next general elections.

Supporters of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its rightwing ally Jamaat-e-Islami hurled bricks at vehicles and exploded crude bombs in the capital city Dhaka as the strike got under way early this morning.

Incidents of clashes and arson were reported from other parts of the country, including Natore, Rajshahi, Comilla and Bogra.

Authorities deployed thousands of additional police and paramilitary officers countrywide to prevent any untoward incident during the second 60-hour strike called by the BNP with a week.

A member of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, BNP’s student wing, was killed when police opened fire on clashing cadres of the ruling Awami League and strike supporters in Lalmonirhat. The incident injured 39 people, including 15 policemen.

Demonstrators stabbed a youth leader of the Awami League in Comilla while a worker died of injuries sustained when protesters hurled bricks at a truck carrying labourers in Natore district.

The BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance enforced the shutdown from 6 am demanding a non-party government to oversee the next parliamentary election.