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Clashes erupt after Khaleda rejects poll results

December 31, 2008

DHAKA, Dec 30: Former Bangladeshi prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia, defeated by a landslide in Monday’s parliamentary election, claimed on Tuesday there had been widespread vote rigging.

Also on Tuesday, clashes between workers of the two leading political parties began, with at least one man being killed, according to a television channel.

“We have confirmed reports of rigging and other irregularities in many polling stations across the country,” Ms Zia told reporters, giving her first reaction to the election.

“So we reject the election outcome,” she said. “We are collecting details of more irregularities and will give to the media and appropriate authorities over next few days,” she told reporters at her Dhaka party office.

One man was killed and about 150 people were injured in clashes between rival political activists, a private television station reported.

“One man died in northern Pabna area, where around 50 others were injured in the clashes,” Diganta Tva said, quoting police and witnesses.

Around 100 more people were hurt in post-election violence across the country, it said.

An alliance led by Ms Khaleda’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) won only 30-odd seats in the election.—Agencies