“Mohammad Kamaruzzaman has been executed at 10.30pm Bangladesh time (1630 GMT),” law and justice minister Anisul Huq told AFP.
Specially trained convicts took him to a makeshift gallows set up near his prison cell and hanged him using a rope, in line with Bangladeshi jail procedure. He was declared dead by a magistrate and a government doctor.
Kamaruzzaman, the third most senior figure in the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was convicted of abduction, torture and mass murder as one of the leaders of a pro-Pakistan militia that killed thousands of people.
An ambulance carrying Kamaruzzaman’s body left the jail for his home village in northern Bangladesh more than an hour after the execution, jailor Farman Ali told reporters, adding that the vehicle was escorted by a convoy of elite security officers.
The Jamaat party condemned “the government’s pre-planned murder of writer, journalist and Islamic scholar” Kamaruzzaman and called a nationwide strike for Monday in protest at the hanging.
Kamaruzzaman, 62, became the second Islamist to be hanged for atrocities during the 1971 war. Abdul Quader Molla, Jamaat’s fourth-highest ranked leader, was hanged in December 2013.