Bangladesh deploys troops ahead of polls

Other News Materials 20 December 2008 12:53 (UTC +04:00)

Military troops fanned out across Bangladesh Saturday to assist in maintaining order for the December 29 parliamentary polls to return the South Asian nation to democracy, officials said.

The deployment was made four days ahead of an earlier announced date, in the wake of withdrawal of state of emergency on December 17, the country's Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda said.

As many as 51,000 army troops will be deployed in addition to police during and after the elections, commission officials said.

One battalion of 800 troops will be deployed in each of the 64 districts for 12 days after the election.

"The armed forces will assist other law enforcement agencies in keeping law and order if returning officers seek their assistance," the commission said, reported dpa.