The country’s 12 religious parties called the protests after the Friday prayers in nearly half a million mosques nationwide, demanding the execution of bloggers they say were behind blasphemous writings against Islam and Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
One person was killed during the clashes in western district of Jhenidah, district police chief Altaf Hossain told AFP, adding that hundreds of protesters also clashed with ruling party activists.
“The person, most probably a supporter of an Islamic party, died on the way to hospital,” he said.
Fierce clashes also occurred in the port city of Chittagong, the northern city of Bogra and dozens of other cities and towns where police fired rubber bullets at thousands of protesters, leaving scores injured, police and local media said.
In Dhaka violence broke out outside the Baitul Mukarram national mosque, where the protesters also attacked around a dozen journalists.
Police tried to thwart the protest by locking the gates of the mosque where thousands of people were performing their weekly Jumma prayers, an AFP photographer at the scene said.
Sayeed Khan, an emergency doctor at Dhaka medical college hospital, told AFP that up to 50 people had been admitted, most injured by rubber bullets.
“Several cases are very critical,” he said.
Tensions have risen in the Muslim-majority nation over the alleged anti-Islamic blog posts by Ahmed Rajib Haider, who was hacked to death last week near his home in the capital Dhaka.
The Egyptian army sealed off the presidential palace with tanks and barbed wire Thursday, a day after fierce clashes between supporters and opponents of the Islamist leader over a disputed constitution killed at least six people.
Compounding President Mohammed Morsi’s woes, another member of his 17-person advisory panel resigned in protest of his handling of the crisis, bringing the total to seven in the past two weeks. Rafik Habib, the only Coptic Christian adviser, was the latest to resign.
Protesters defied a deadline to vacate the area, demanding that Morsi rescind his Nov. 22 decrees giving himself near-absolute power and withdraw the disputed draft constitution passed by his Islamist allies that is headed for a Dec. 15 referendum. But the situation was calm throughout the day.
Thousands of Morsi supporters camped overnight outside the palace after driving away opposition activists who had been staging a sit-in there, prompting the wild street battles that spread to upscale residential areas nearby. The Brotherhood, which had erected metal barricades and manned checkpoints with rocks and empty glass bottles overnight, withdrew from the area by afternoon.
“I don’t want Morsi to back down,” said Khaled Omar, a Brotherhood supporter who had camped out. “We are not defending him. We are defending Islam, which is what people want.”
Explosions are rocking Damascus as Syrian troops clash with rebels in some of the heaviest fighting yet in the capital in the 15-month uprising against President Bashar Assad.
Troops have also unleashed a heavy assault to retake a rebel-held neighbourhood in a central flashpoint city, blasting it with heavy bombardment.
Also on Friday, UN observers entered a remote farming area where a massacre was reported this week, an activist said, a day after they were blocked from reaching it by troops and local residents and fired upon.
The fighting in Damascus erupted in the restive district of Kfar Souseh, where the night before, armed rebels took part in a large anti-government rally in the same district, witnesses said - a rare and bold public appearance by the fighters in the capital.
Friday’s fighting began when the fighters attacked a government checkpoint in the morning, according to Rami Abdul-Rahman, of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.