Hundreds of thousands of members of a hardline Muslim group have rallied in Bangladesh's capital to demand anti-blasphemy laws to punish people who insult Islam.
Members of the group, Hifazat-e-Islam, also clashed with police and pro-government activists outside the capital, leaving a ruling party supporter dead.
The massive rally in Dhaka was staged on Saturday amid heightened security throughout the country after Hifazat-e-Islam members targeted bloggers who they say are atheists.
It took place despite a day-long shutdown across the country enforced by about 25 liberal and secular groups to denounce the rally. The bloggers, who deny they are atheists, want capital punishment for those found guilty of war crimes during the nation's 1971 independence war against Pakistan.
They also want a ban on Jamaat-e-Islami, the country's largest Islamic party, for campaigning against Bangladesh's independence more than four decades ago. The party is a key partner of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which is led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia.
Jamaat-e-Islami leaders are accused of crimes against humanity during the 1971 war, and two senior party leaders were convicted this year by a special tribunal.
The organisers of the shutdown said the hardline group was not interested in protecting Islam, but rather wanted to create an environment to help Jamaat-e-Islami free the party's detained leaders.
As a result of the shutdown, roads were blocked and train and bus services suspended, practically cutting Dhaka off from rest of the country. But hundreds of thousands of Hifazat-e-Islam members managed to join the rally, most wearing white Islamic skullcaps.
Somoy TV and the Daily Star newspaper reported that a supporter of the ruling Awami League, Nausher Khan, died after clashes in the central Faridpur district, 60 kilometres west of Dhaka. Another 15 men were injured.