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Five killed over a clash on Jamaat leader hanging

Dhaka: Bangladesh police opened fire on bomb-throwing protesters on Monday as five more people died in clashes sparked by the execution of a Jamaat leader for war crimes.

The trouble broke out in several places in the southeastern district of Satkhira over the hanging last week of Abdul Quader Molla, a top figure from the country’s largest party.

Activists from the Jamaat-e-Islami party, used home-made weapons and crude bombs, attacked teams of police and paramilitary border guards.

“We fired rifles in self-defence,” said the district deputy police Chief Kazi Moniruzzaman.

Five people were confirmed dead in the clashes, while Bengali daily Prothom Alo quoted local sources as saying the victims were Jamaat activists.

Bangladesh has been rocked by a new wave of deadly violence that has left 30 people dead as supporters vent their fury at Molla’s execution last Thursday.

He became the first person to be hanged for his role in the country’s bloody 1971 war of independence from Pakistan, after being convicted of rape and mass murder including the alleged killing of more than 350 unarmed civilians.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has warned of strong action against the rioters, saying “We have shown enough patience. We will not tolerate any more.”

He was one of five leaders or other politicians sentenced to death by the domestic court known as the International Crimes Tribunal, which the opposition says is aimed at eradicating its leaders.

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