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One dead, dozens of voting booths hit in Bangladesh

Published on Jan 4, 2014 2:27 PM

DHAKA (AFP) - Dozens of polling booths were torched on the eve of Bangladesh's violence-plagued election as the opposition staged a general strike in a final act of defiance against the "farcical" polls.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which is boycotting the vote, called the 48-hour strike but it has little chance of thwarting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's re-election in what is effectively a one-party contest.

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 build-up to Sunday's vote has been dominated by violence, with around 150 people killed in election-related unrest since the date was set in October.

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