Bangladesh deploys soldiers ahead of next Sunday's elections

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Thousands of army soldiers are being deployed across Bangladesh to help conduct the national elections on Dec. 30.

A statement by the military's public relations office said the deployment began early Monday and the soldiers would be on duty until Jan. 2.

While such deployment is common ahead of national elections in Bangladesh, the opposition has been strongly demanding their engagement in the election process amid concern that violence could happen.

At least six people have died in recent weeks while hundreds have been injured.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is seeking to return to power for a third consecutive time amid opposition's allegations that the election could be rigged. Authorities have pledged free and fair voting.