The opposition Bangladesh National Party's near-constant call for hartals, or blockades, brought many businesses to a halt, taking a toll on the vital garment trade.
Tens of thousands of Islamists rampaged through Bangladesh's capital today, countering even larger crowds that turned out earlier this year to oust conservative forms of Islam from Bangladeshi politics.
Bangladesh has arrested suspected members of Lashkar-e-Taiba. The Pakistani militant group was blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks -- and some fear it could target India again and provoke regional tensions.
Two leading Islamist politicians were arrested as Bangladesh prepares to hold a war crimes tribunal for those charged with committing mass murder during the country's liberation war from Pakistan in 1971. Observers worry this might incite violence.