Bangladeshi voters wait in line outside a polling station while security police officials watch over, in Dhaka, Dec 30, 2018. (MUNIR UZ ZAMAN / AFP)
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Gunmen opened fire on two cars returning from a polling station with ballot boxes, killing at least seven people and wounding 15 in part of southeastern Bangladesh known for tribal life and tourism, officials said Tuesday.
Local police official Manjurul Alam said early Tuesday that the attack took place on Monday evening when the polling and security officials were returning from the polling station at Baghaichhari in Rangamati district, an area once hit by tribal insurgency. It was not immediately clear who were behind the attacks.
He said military helicopters carried 11 critically injured people to a military hospital in neighboring Chittagong.
Authorities increased security in the region after the violence, he said.
Voting was held in Rangamati to elect local government officials, but some candidates boycotted, citing irregularities.
Several armed tribal groups are still active in the district, which shares borders with India and Myanmar. The district is famous for lakes, forested hills and tribal life, and thousands of tourists, mostly Bangladeshi, visit each year.
While a 1997 peace treaty between the government and armed tribal group Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti, ended an insurgency allegedly backed by India, the region remained chaotic because of other groups that live on extortion and control of government contracts. The tribal groups were opposed to previous settlements of Bengali people from the mainland.
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