11, including 2 candidates, killed in violence in fifth-phase union council elections

Voting was held in 717 unions under 45 districts on Saturday amid violence and allegations of rigging and other malpractices.

The two candidates killed were Kamal Uddin, BNP rebel chairman aspirant at Comilla's Titas, and Md Yasin, who was vying for the post of member at Chittagong's Karnaphuli.

In Jamalpur, poll violence claimed four lives, the highest in a district. They died after police opened fire to put an end to a clash between supporters of two candidates.

An activist of the Juba League, the youth front of the ruling Awami League, was shot dead in Noakhali's Begumganj.

One more died in Begumganj and two others in Chittagong's Patiya after getting caught up in poll violence.

Several people were injured in clashes occurring at different places in Brahmanbarhia and Munshiganj.

More than 80 people have died in election-related violence in the three and a half months since the announcement of the election schedule.

Most of the incidents of violence took place between party candidates and rebels.

Election Commissioner Mohammad Abu Hafiz admitted the rising trend of violence.

"This time it's more because the polls are on party lines and renegades are challenging regular party aspirants," he said.

The commissioner said the situation would not improve until the mindsets of candidates changed.

Jamalpur: Four people were killed and 20 others injured when police opened fire to stop a clash between supporters of Awami League's chairman aspirant Sakirullah Rakhal and rebel candidate Md Shahjahan at the Futar Char Madrasa centre under Dewanganj.

The deceased have been identified as Ziaur Rahman, son of Nurul Islam, Abdul Mazed, son of Afzal Hossain, Nabirul Islam, son of Amjad Hossain, and Noor-e Alam.

District police chief Md Nizamuddin said, "Police resorted to firing to bring the situation under control."

Jamalpur Deputy Commissioner Md Shahabuddin Khan said a committee had been formed with Additional District Magistrate Md Alamgir as its head to probe the incident.

Comilla: Rivals allegedly hacked to death BNP renegade chairman candidate Kamal Uddin at Nagerchar school centre under Balarampur union of Titas Upazila.

Kamal's cousin Bashir Ahmed alleged BNP candidate Tofail Ahmed and his supporters carried out the attack.

Chittagong: Member candidate Md Yasin, 40, was hacked to death during a clash in Shah Mirpur area under Barha Uthan union of Karnaphuli Upazila.

Chittagong Metropolitan Police said the clash took place between supporters of Yasin and another candidate around 1:15pm outside Shah Mirpur Govt Primary School centre.

Patiya police and locals said a voter, Babul Shil, 65, died of cardiac arrest during a clash at Madrasa centre in Ashiya union.

According to locals, Shil, a resident of Mollaparha, fell sick during the clash between supporters of member candidates Shafiqul Islam and Nurul Karim.

Doctors at Patiya Upazila Health Complex proclaimed him dead after he was rushed there.

Another person succumbed to injuries he received during violence in Patiya.

Noakhali: A teenager was shot dead in a clash at Banglabazar KM High School centre under Jirtali union of Begumganj at noon.

Shakil, 16, was the son of Md Milon of Kalikapur village.

Shakil's grandfather Md Harun said he died when police opened fire during the clash. Police, however, denied the allegation.

In Rajganj union, a man died after being chased by RAB during voting.

He was identified as Syed Ahmed, 60.

Panchagarh: A supporter of a victorious member candidate died in an attack allegedly by the supporters of the defeated candidate in Garhinabarhi union.

The 55-year-old fatal victim's wife was among 13 others injured in the attack.

Source: Bangladesh's First Internet Newspaper