"Clashes erupted as two processions of rival activists became face-to-face...The two activists from BNP have died instantly in gunshots," an eyewitness said.
Khaleda Zia, the chief of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) who had refused to participate in what she branded a "farce" election, remained cordoned off inside her Gulshan office here since Saturday night and security forces, including women police, were deployed outside the building.
Authorities overnight called out paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) troops after BNP vowed to stage a nationwide protest defying a ban coinciding with the first anniversary of the January 5 elections.
BNP asked its leaders and activists to join a planned rally in front of its central office at Naya Paltan area, saying former prime minister Zia would join the protest.
But police in riot gears took positions in Naya paltan area to prevent their planned rally.
Witnesses said the intensified security vigil visibly kept away the BNP activists from gathering at the scene despite calls from the party's acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir to stage the rally "at any cost".
Witnesses said over a dozen sand laden trucks and water cannons were positioned afresh in front of the office since last night as Zia vowed to come out to join the rally.

Latest News from World News Desk