News / Asia

Bangladeshi Troops to Assist With Elections Security

VOA News
Authorities in Bangladesh are deploying soldiers nationwide to help hold off political violence ahead of next month's national elections.

Military and elections officials said the troops will be deployed until January 9, four days past the date of the vote. The military says they are to be used as a "striking force" if there is political violence.

Local reports say tens of thousands of troops are being deployed, but the military has not confirmed the number.

The main opposition party and some of its allies are boycotting the vote because Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina refuses to step down and hand over power to an interim government.

Political violence has shaken the nation for months, causing more than 150 deaths this year. Most of the deaths have occurred in the past two months.

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