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Bangladesh garment factories close amid violent protests

Violent protests shuttered some 250 Bangladesh garment factories near the capital Dhaka on Wednesday, as thousands of workers demanded higher wages at the outlets providing cheap clothing for retailers such as Wal-Mart.

Striking workers clashed with police for a third successive day, causing about 100 injuries. Police retaliated by firing rubber bullets and canisters of tear gas.

Bangladeshi garment workers assist their colleagues injured during clashes with police in Ashulia, outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. Thousands of garment workers demanding higher pay clashed with police in Bangladesh for a second day Tuesday, leaving dozens of people injured and at least 200 factories closed, police said.
AP
Bangladeshi garment workers assist their colleagues injured during clashes with police in Ashulia, outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. Thousands of garment workers demanding higher pay clashed with police in Bangladesh for a second day Tuesday, leaving dozens of people injured and at least 200 factories closed, police said.

(Read more: Stop attacking Topshop over Bangladesh: CEO)

"We have been forced to shut all garment factories in Ashulia fearing more vandalism, and also for security reasons after the unrest of the last few days," said Mohammad Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

(Read more: Young girl works in Bangladesh factory)

There are about 250 factories in the Ashulia industrial district, providing merchandise for most of the leading Western brands including Walmart, H&M, Gap and Eagle Outfitters, business officials said.

(Read more: Welcome Home: 'Made in USA' on the Rise)

The factory workers are demanding the monthly minimum wage is raised to 8,000 taka ($103) from 3000 taka ($38).

—By Reuters.

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