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Amid a deepening conflict between Bangladeshs two main political parties, the scene here in the capital as polls opened for the general elections on Sunday was ominous, with black-clad special forces units and soldiers in combat gear patrolling nearly empty boulevards. The official nationwide figures were still being compiled, but several Dhaka polling places visited on Sunday reported voter turnouts below 25 percent, a steep decline from the more than 87 percent who voted in the previous general elections. Nineteen people were reported to have been killed in political violence, and 148 polling places were closed early because of security concerns. Bangladeshi television stations broadcast images of rural polling places charred by arson attacks and of bodies wrapped in red blankets.
|Boycott And Violence Mar Elections In Bangladesh|
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