DHAKA, Bangladesh

Police in Bangladesh on Saturday opened fire at workers of a power plant protesting for a wage hike and payment of pending dues, killing at least five people and injuring five more.

The incident occurred at a coal-fired power plant in the southeastern port city of Chattogram, where employees started a protest on Friday.

The power station is a joint venture between S Alam Group, a purportedly government-backed Bangladeshi conglomerate, and two Chinese firms.

According to local media reports, the workers broke into the plant on Saturday morning after talks for an increase in salaries and payment of arrears failed.

Officials cited in the reports said four workers were killed on the spot and one more died in hospital.

Five more people with serious bullet wounds are under treatment at the Chittagong Medical College Hospital.

Pankaj Kumar Dey, a senior police officer in the city, blamed the protesting workers for the violence, saying that police officials had acted in “self-defense.”

“Enraged workers attacked the factory and the police personnel on duty. Police only fired live bullets in self-defense. Four workers were shot and died on the spot, while three police personnel were also injured,” he told Anadolu Agency.

He said the situation is now under control but additional forces have still been deployed as a precaution.

Back in 2016, four people were killed during clashes with police amid protests against the construction of the power station in Chattogram’s Banshkhali area.

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