A group of election officials traveling from the Baghaichhari polling station in Rangamati district were ambushed by unidentified gunmen on the evening (local time) of Monday, March 18. According to initial police reports, seven people were killed in the attack, including two election officials and members of the police force. Over 20 other people were also wounded in the gunfire. As of Tuesday, March 19, no group has claimed responsibility and authorities have deployed additional security forces into the area.
The next two phases of local elections are scheduled to be held in upazilas (sub-districts) across the country on Friday, March 22 and Sunday, March 31. Further electoral-related violence is possible in the coming days and weeks despite an increase in security deployments and restrictions on vehicular movements during polling days. Several political parties have boycotted the vote, including the primary opposition party the Bangladesh National Party (BNP).
Individuals in Bangladesh are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate transportation disruptions and heightened security measures, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and avoid all political gatherings due to the risk of violence.
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