DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) _ An opposition coalition has called for a dawn-to-noon nationwide general strike Sept. 1 to protest President Gen. Hussain Muhammad Ershad's military rule.

The eight-party opposition alliance led by Sheikh Hasina Wajed said in a news release Tuesday night that it has asked Bangladeshis to stage street demonstrations on the day of the strike.

The alliance is also protesting a special presidential security force empowered to shoot and kill anyone who tries to escape arrest.

Ershad came to power in a bloodless military coup on March 23, 1982.