Two men on a motorbike have opened fire on anti-government activists in northwestern Bangladesh, killing two amid tensions on the anniversary of a general election boycotted by a major opposition alliance last year.

Aminul Haque, a local leader from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, says the shooting took place Monday in Natore district, 160 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of the capital, Dhaka.

Police would not immediately confirm the identities of the dead, but Haque said they were activists from the party's student wing.

The Jan. 5 election last year was boycotted by a major opposition alliance led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. Tensions heated up recently after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League party announced rallies to celebrate the anniversary, while Zia said anti-government protests would take place.