DHAKA, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- About a dozen of Bangladesh's religion-based parties and groups Saturday called a countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal for Sunday as police imposed a ban on demonstrations protesting an anti-Islam U.S. film and a French magazine caricaturing prophet Muhammad in some areas in Dhaka.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) imposed the ban on holding rallies in Paltan, Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, Kakrail, Dainik Bangla intersection, Bijoynagar and adjacent areas in downtown Dhaka from 5:00 p.m. Friday till further orders.
In a statement, DMP said the ban was imposed as rallies called by two rival Islamist parties at the same place Saturday may lead to conflicts.
But the Islamist parties and groups, which ignored the ban to stage demonstrations Saturday, said this is nothing but a "lame excuse" to refrain them from their scheduled protest programs.
Demonstrators clashed with police by smashing vehicles and setting a bus on fire. Police reportedly arrested about dozens of demonstrators.
The protesters in Dhaka threatened to go for further agitation if the U.S. government does not arrest maker of the low-cost anti- Islam film, against which thousands of people across the world also raised voice either peacefully or violently.
"If needed we'll try to seize the U.S. embassy in Dhaka," said leader of a protesting Islamist organization on condition of anonymity. The anti-Islam film which was made in Unite States has enraged Muslims across the world while cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammad published in a French magazine on Wednesday has added further fuel to the ongoing protest programs.
After Jummah prayer, Bangladesh's Islamist organizations brought out processions in capital Dhaka Friday. The angry protesters burned U.S., Israeli and French flags and chanted slogans against the United States and Israel.
Expressing anger at the insults to Islam and its Prophet Hazrat Muhammad, thousands of people also staged demonstrations in many other cities and towns of the Muslims majority South Asian country on Friday after Jummah prayer like previous week.
The crudely made movie, circulated on the Internet under several titles including "Innocence of Muslims", denigrates Prophet Mohammad and shows he is engaged in crude and offensive behavior.
The French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, Wednesday published the cartoon which includes obscene images intended to represent the Islam's prophet.
Against this backdrop, security measures have been beefed up around the protest areas with the deployment of more lawenforcers and armored personnel carriers and water cannon.
Police said French authorities have shut down cultural centers and embassy in Dhaka.
No major incident of violence has been reported in the protest Friday and Saturday in Bangladesh, a liberal Muslim country of over 152 million people.
The Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zial have already condemned the film while the government blocked the video-sharing website YouTube, where the film was uploaded.