At least seven people were killed and over 20 others received injuries in Bangladesh in multiple incidents of violence during polling for rural councils in various areas of the country.
Voting was held for 841 local councils, known as union parishads, in nationwide elections that are being held in phases.
Thursday’s round was the second phase, where the Bangladesh Election Commission condemned the violence and urged all sides to exercise restraint.
Chief Election Commissioner K.M. Nurul Huda had warned over possible election violence, appealing for security measures to be taken to respond to any incidents.
In a statement, the police official Satyajt Kumar Ghosh said that violent groups used guns and spears to prevent supporters of rivals from reaching the polling booths in villages that left seven people dead.
At least 20 other people were injured in the chaos, he said.
The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party has boycotted the elections, accusing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government of intimidation and malpractices.
The country’s home minister, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal assured to bring all perpetrators to account.
Ahead of the vote this month, at least nine people were killed and hundreds were injured in campaign violence.
According to a Dhaka-based rights group, Ain-o-Salish Kendra, since January, 85 people have been killed and more than 6,000 injured in Bangladesh election-related violence.
© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.