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Police Shoot at Farmers Looting Fertilizer Train, At Least One Person Dies

March 22, 1995

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) _ Police killed at least one person and injured as many as 100 when they opened fire on farmers looting fertilizer bags from a train.

Farmers angry over skyrocketing prices for state-subsidized fertilizers have stormed government warehouses, sat on railroad tracks and held protests in the past few days.

About 10,000 farmers stopped a train Tuesday at Gaibandha village, 120 miles northwest of the capital, Dhaka, and ripped open fertilizer bags.

Police swung bamboo canes and fired tear gas but were unable to disperse the mob. They then opened fire on the crowd, police said.

One farmer was killed and three others had gunshot wounds, police said. But The Sangbad newspaper on Wednesday quoted witnesses as saying three people were killed and at least 100 were injured.

The government maintains it produces enough fertilizer for Bangladesh’s staple crop, rice. But many farmers reportedly are smuggling fertilizer to nearby India and Burma or selling it on the black market.

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