GENEVA: United Nations rights chief Navi Pillay on Sunday said she was deeply worried by the ‘shocking’ pre-election violence rocking Bangladesh, urging parties on both sides to peacefully resolve their differences over the Jan 5 polls.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also voiced concern about the detention of key opposition leaders in the unrest, which has killed 50 people since late October when the government first announced the date of the general elections.

“Whatever their differences, political leaders on both sides must halt their destructive brinkmanship, which is pushing Bangladesh dangerously close to a major crisis,” Pillay said in a statement.

“Instead, they must fulfil their responsibility and use their influence to bring this violence to an immediate halt and seek a solution to this crisis through dialogue.”

In the latest incidents, one demonstrator in Bangladesh was shot dead by officers on Saturday and another died late Friday as police used live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse protesters. —AFP

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