Workers protest after fatal fire

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers staged angry protests Monday, demanding justice after at least 112 people died over the weekend in a fire at a factory on the outskirts of Dhaka where labor advocates found the charred remains of clothing from brands sold at global retailers like Wal-Mart.

The protests paralyzed much of the Ashulia area, an important industrial belt north of Dhaka, the capital, as workers blocked roads, prompting some factories to close for the day.

A second garment factory in a different part of Dhaka was engulfed in flames Monday morning. By afternoon, the second fire had been brought under control.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina offered prayers and sympathy for the families of the dead as her Cabinet declared that Tuesday would be a day of national mourning. At the same time, she voiced suspicions that the fires were arsons intended to undermine the country’s garment industry.

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