At least nine vehicles were torched across Bangladesh as the BNP resumed the fourth phase of a nationwide transport blockade as part of its anti-government movement.
The arson attacks on eight buses and a pickup were reported to the Fire Service from 8 pm on Saturday to 6 am on Sunday, said Talha Bin Jasim, a Fire Service Control Room official. At least seven vehicles were torched in Dhaka, one in Gazipur and one in Barishal.
A workforce of 193 and 19 units of the firefighters doused the flames, the Fire Service official said.
The political temperature in Bangladesh has been rising in recent weeks as the BNP, the country's largest opposition group, continues to press ahead with its campaign to replace the Awami League government with a non-partisan caretaker system ahead of the election.
As part of its campaign, the BNP organised a mass rally at Dhaka's Naya Paltan on Oct 28. But the event was marred by deadly clashes with the police, leading the opposition group to enforce a hartal on Oct 29, followed by four rounds of nationwide transport blockades.
The BNP's call for a blockade garnered support from like-minded parties, and Jamaat-e-Islami, a long-time ally of the party, initiated a similar programme separately.