Bangladesh deployed some 6,000 elite soldiers who fanned out across the country on Wednesday as intelligence reports warned that the main contenders in a Dec. 29 election may be targeted.
Former prime ministers Begum Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina have also said their lives are at risk.
Security fears increased after officials seized live grenades and a bomb with a timing device near a spot where Khaleda had addressed one of her several campaign rallies on Tuesday.
"The RAB (Rapid Action Battalion) personnel will act as a strike force, along with army troops, during and before the election, helping the civil administration and election commission conduct the vote peacefully," a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Separately, the Eurasia Group, a London-based watchdog, said on Tuesday: "Political instability will likely persist even after the 29 December general elections return the country to elected, civilian government.
"There are no guarantees that the two main political parties - the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party - or the military will accept the election results. Neither party is also likely to adopt a more mature approach to politics."
Last Mod: 24 Aralık 2008, 13:56