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Bangladesh hit by general strike on eve of polls

Published on Jan 4, 2014 5:59 AM
 
People take part in Friday prayers as members of the police stand guard in Dhaka on Jan 3, 2014. Bangladesh's opposition began enforcing a 48-hour general strike on Saturday on the eve of elections as its leader remained confined to her home. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

DHAKA (AFP) - Bangladesh's opposition began enforcing a 48-hour general strike on Saturday on the eve of elections as its leader remained confined to her home.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which is boycotting Sunday's polls, called the strike in a final bid to torpedo a contest which is already sure to be won by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League.

The strike comes after BNP leader Khaleda Zia issued an appeal to voters to also "completely boycott" what she called "a scandalous farce" and accused the government of placing her under house arrest.

The vote build-up has been significantly overshadowed by violence, with election-related unrest killing around 150 people since the date was set in October.

 
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