At least 16 people have reportedly been killed in poll violence in a number of Bangladesh districts on Sunday. "At least 15 opposition activists and a member of Ansar Bahini, a disciplined force for internal security and law enforcement in Bangladesh, were killed in six districts as violent clashes, aimed at foiling the 10th general election, erupted today across the country centering the controversial polls boycotted by the opposition," leading English newspaper The Daily Star reported Sunday.
But no police official was available for comment on the killings.Dozens of people including police and opposition men have reportedly been injured in the violent incidents. According to The Daily Star report, scores of polling stations - - mostly schools -- and election materials have been torched and vandalized. The Bangladesh Election Commission has been forced to postpone vote in 160 polling centers due to violence.
Voters also seem to be afraid of the widespread violence that began with attacks on the polling centers Friday night, it added.Ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's main opposition alliance has boycotted the vote and slapped a two-day shutdown announcing to resist the election which it termed 'a farce'.
Mired in controversy, Bangladesh's 10th parliamentary election held in just 147 out of 300 seats in 59 out of 64 districts of the country. 153 candidates have already been elected unopposed amid boycott by the main opposition and its allies.
Some 21 parties including ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's BNP are boycotting the elections over Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's refusal to introduce a non-party interim government to oversee the parliament polls. Hasina's AL and 11 small parties have participated in the elections. Dhaka (Xinhua)