Dhaka: Voting began in Bangladesh at 8.00 am (0200 GMT) on Sunday amid tight security after the country witnessed sporadic clashes during a weeks-long campaign. 

Around 600,000 security personnel have been deployed across the country to maintain law and order. 

Here are the main highlights: 

1. On Sunday, two people died in election-related clashes.

2. The first person died when police opened fire on opposition activists who allegedly attacked a polling station in the southern town of Bashkhali.

3. The second person — an activist from the ruling Awami League (AL)— died after receiving a blow on his head by opposition supporters.

4. In a bid to prevent spreading of rumours, authorities have ordered the country's mobile operators to shut down 3G and 4G services until midnight on Sunday

5. While Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is seeking a third straight term in power, her rival former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, the leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), deemed ineligible by a court from running for office because she is in prison for corruption.

6. However, Hasina is said to have become an authoritarian ruler with time.

7. The opposition parties, in absence of Zia, have formed a coalition led by former member of AL Kamal Hossain.

8. Both sides are hoping to avoid a repeat of 2014, when Zia and the BNP boycotted elections and voter turnout in the South Asian nation of 160 million people was only 22 percent. 

9. More than half of the 300 parliamentary seats were uncontested. The Awami League’s landslide victory was met by violence that left at least 22 people dead.

10. This election, some 104 million people are eligible to vote, including many young, first-time voters.

With inputs from Associated Press