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Bangladesh Boosts Security Ahead of Poll


The government of Bangladesh says it has stepped up security ahead of a crucial election scheduled for Monday following the arrest of two members of a banned Islamist group.

Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia Wednesday said the men, arrested near her campaign rally Tuesday, were planning to kill her. Several grenades were seized along with them.

Ms. Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party has called on the government to give her more protection. The home affairs minister, Home Advisor M.A. Matin, told reporters in Dhaka that the government is increasing security nationwide after the incident.

Authorities had already boosted security following threats against Ms. Zia and her main rival, Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina.

Ms. Zia told supporters on the campaign trail today that she has ruled out withdrawing from the election.

The poll should return Bangladesh to democracy after near two years of emergency rule. The military intervened in January of 2007 to stop months of violence between supporters of the BNP and the Awami League. Those same two parties are seen as the front-runners in the upcoming poll.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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