Bangladesh Ends Zia Confinement

Bangladesh Ends Zia ConfinementBangladesh Ends Zia Confinement

Bangladesh has ended its confinement of opposition leader Khaleda Zia after a surge in political violence left 27 people dead, but her party vowed to continue a nationwide transport blockade.

Zia had been barred from leaving her office for the last 16 days to prevent her from leading protests aimed at toppling her rival, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Al-Jazeera reported.

Police stationed outside Zia’s office in Dhaka’s upmarket Gulshan district stood down on Monday.

“We’ve withdrawn the additional security from her office after midnight,” local police chief Rafiqul Islam said, adding that the former two-time prime minister was now free to leave.

The blockade has seen opposition activists firebomb buses, cars and lorries across the country, while police have retaliated by firing bullets and tear gas.

A total of 238 vehicles have been torched since January 4 and another 307 damaged, according to Bengali daily Prothom Alo.