The deceased were identified as Salauddin, 30, son of Hekim Mia, Jahangir, 26, son of Abdul Haque Mia and Dulal, 45, son of Haji Siraj of Bashgari village in the upazila.

The deceased were supporters of Ashraful Islam, an Awami League-backed candidate for the post of chairman in Bashgari UP.

Satyajit Kumar Ghosh, assistant superintendent of police (Raipura circle), said supporters of Ashraful and Ratul Hasan Zakir, an independent candidate, attacked each other in front of Bashgari union parishad complex around 6:00am, two hours before the beginning of the elections.

The two groups fired gunshots and attacked each other with spears, leaving three people dead and 30 others injured, he said.

The injured were taken to Brahmanbaria and Narsingdi Sadar hospitals.

On information, police rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control.

A man was shot dead and six others were injured in a clash between the supporters of two member candidates at Khurushkul in Sadar upazila.

The deceased was identified as Akteruzzaman Putu, 35, younger brother of Sheikh Kamal, a member candidate of Khurushkul No 1 ward.

Commander of Crime Prevention Specialized Company (CCPS) major Mehedi Hasan of RAB-15 said the supporters of member candidate Babul were trying to stuff ballots during voting at Khurushkul Tetoia Government Primary School centre. But the supporters of Akterruzaman obstructed them, triggering the clash.

In Cumilla, a clash broke out around 12:00pm between the supporters of Awami League-backed chairman candidate Zakir Hossain and independent candidate Harun-ur-Rashid over establishing dominance at Amirabad Primary School centre of Manikar union in Meghna upazila, leaving 21 people injured.

Later, the injured were sent to Meghna upazila Health Complex where physicians declared Shaon Mia, a supporter of the independent candidate, dead.

In Chattogram, a businessman was killed and several people were injured at Lelang union of Fatikchhari over the UP polls.

Rabiul Islam, officer-in-charge of Fatikchhari police station, said the clash broke out between the supporters of two member candidates in Gopalghata Anandabazar area during the voting, leaving Md Shafi dead.

Traffic on the busy Dhaka-Chattogram highway came to a standstill for over half an hour on Thursday morning after supporters of two rival union parishad (UP) member candidates blocked the high-speed corridor following a clash.

Summon Banik, inspector at Sitakunda police station, said the two groups had clashed with each other in Sonaichhari union of Sitakunda upazila in Chattogram around 5:00am, hours before voting began for the second phase of UP polls in Bangladesh.

The members of the two groups were supporters of rival UP member candidates, Mahbub and Forkan, respectively. "Both tried to capture the Ghoramara Government Primary School polling station, leading to the clash," the OC said.

On information, police rushed to the spot and brought the two member candidates to the police station for questioning. Cops also seized bamboo sticks and 10 petrol bombs from outside the polling station.

Polling began in 835 of 848 UPs at 8:00am on Thursday and continued till 4:00pm.

A total of 81 chairman candidates have already been elected unopposed. Similarly, all contestants -- for chairman and member posts, and reserved seats -- in five UPs were elected uncontested.

Though the election commission had earlier announced the second phase poll schedule for 848 UPs, it postponed election in seven UPs and cancelled polling in one.

More than 41,000 candidates, including 3,310 contenders for the post of chairman, are contesting the countrywide second phase UP election.

Some 28,747 candidates contested the polls for the member posts and 9,161 women for the reserved seats in the UPs.

But 203 member candidates and 73 women candidates for reserved seats were elected unopposed in this phase.

There are nearly 16.6 million voters -- 8,405,831 men, 8,189,379 women and 16 transgender (Hijra) -- under 8,492 polling stations in these UPs.