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Monday December 4, 2000

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Clashes over expulsions injure 200 in Bangladesh

By The Associated Press

DHAKA, Bangladesh - Hundreds of people clashed with police after officials expelled 13 students accused of cheating in final exams at a college in Bangladesh, authorities said yesterday. About 200 people were injured.

A mob of nearly 500 students and villagers, some carrying rocks and sticks, attacked the Barisal Government College on Saturday, beating teachers and smashing furniture and windows to protest the expulsions, the head of the college, Syed Ali, said in a telephone interview.

Police used steel-tipped batons to disperse the mob, and there were police among the injured, he said. The villagers were mostly friends and relatives of the students expelled from the college in the Barisal district 75 miles south of the capital, Dhaka.

A round of exams began Nov. 18 for more than 253,000 students nationwide. Cheating is widespread in Bangladesh, where students need a degree to qualify for prestigious jobs in government administration. More than 8,000 students were expelled for cheating in the nation last month.