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Security tight in Dhaka as Bangladesh prepares to vote

Bangladesh police's elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel patrol on motorcycles ahead of the general elections in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, De...
Onlookers stand under election posters as they watch Bangladeshi firefighters trying to extinguish fire in a commercial building ahead of the general ...
Bangladeshi Muslims offer Friday prayers at a mosque ahead of the general elections in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, Dec. 28, 2018. Bangladesh Prime Mini...
Bangladeshi Muslim children walk along with their father after attending the Friday prayers at a mosque ahead of the general elections in Dhaka, Bangl...

Bangladesh police's elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel patrol on motorcycles ahead of the general elections in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, De...

Onlookers stand under election posters as they watch Bangladeshi firefighters trying to extinguish fire in a commercial building ahead of the general ...

Bangladeshi Muslims offer Friday prayers at a mosque ahead of the general elections in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, Dec. 28, 2018. Bangladesh Prime Mini...

Bangladeshi Muslim children walk along with their father after attending the Friday prayers at a mosque ahead of the general elections in Dhaka, Bangl...

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — As Bangladeshis get set for Sunday's parliamentary elections, there are fears that violence and intimidation could keep many voters away.

The decade-long tenure of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, whose ruling party hopes to retain power in the elections, has been marred by allegations of mass arrests and jailing of activists and critics, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings.

Zahiruddin Swapan, a lawmaker from the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, said Friday that security officials cordoned off his house, preventing him from campaigning. Sheikh Farid Ahmed, another BNP candidate, said Saturday that police and ruling party activists had taken positions around his compound.

The BNP led the campaign for the deployment of over 600,000 soldiers, border patrol, paramilitary and police officers who have fanned out across the country in advance of the elections.