Bangladesh deploys military in election countdown
DHAKA (AFP) - Tens of thousands of troops were to be deployed across Bangladesh on Thursday in a bid to contain deadly political violence ahead of elections which are being boycotted by the opposition.
With Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina determined that the January 5 general election goes ahead despite claims that it will be a farce, troops are being sent to nearly every corner of the country at the end of its deadliest year for political violence since independence.
The deployments are expected to further infuriate the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party which called for a mass march on the capital Dhaka beginning on December 29 in a bid to scupper the polls.
Election Commission spokesman S.M. Asaduzzaman said that troops would be deployed in at least 59 of the country's 64 districts.