Scores injured in Bangladesh poll violence

December 29th, 2008 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Dec 29 (IANS) Scores of people were injured in poll related clashes Monday as Bangladesh voted in the ninth general election that also witnessed violence targeting religious minorities.Unidentified people set three houses of a minority group on fire at West Barua Para in Fatikchhari of Chittagong, Star Online said.

The three houses owned by Pulin Bihari Barua, Nil Komol Barua and Jibok Barua were burnt to ashes at about 2 a.m., six hours before the national polls started.

Residents of the area could not identify the attackers, but said this might have been done “to scare the minority groups not to go to polling centres or vote”, online edition of The Daily Star newspaper said.

The elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) recovered 22 hand-made bombs from Charshti village at Chouddagram in Comilla district.

A team of the elite force seized the bombs and arrested an activist of Islami Chhatra Shibir, Mainul Hossain, for the incident, the newspaper reported.

Voting was suspended at a polling centre located in a school in Noakhali-3 constituency following clashes between supporters of rival candidates.

In Noakhali-5, three people were injured as supporters of rival candidates clashed at Kalam Bux polling centre. Situation returned to normal when army mobile team came to the spot.

Stray clashes also occurred in Noakhali-6 constituency, leaving one person wounded.

At least 33 people were injured in clashes during the polling hours in Madaripur, Shariatpur and Bhola districts.

In Madaripur, 18 people were injured in separate clashes between the supporters of rival candidates in the parliamentary election in Kalkini and Shibchar upazilas.

Fifteen people were injured in a clash between the supporters of two rival candidates at a polling centre in east Kamalapur in Kalkini upazila.

In Bhola in southern Bangladesh, at least five persons suffered injuries in a clash between activists of Khaleda Zia-led four-party alliance and Sheikh Hasina-led nine-party grand alliance over election campaign at a polling centre in Bhola-4 constituency.

In Shariatpur, 10 people were injured at a clash between Zia and Hasina supporters. The injured were admitted to Shariatpur Sadar Hospital.

Eight activists and supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami, who contested from Pabna-1 constituency, were arrested.

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