Execution Ignites Violent Protests in Bangladesh

Islamist leader hanged for war crimes

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The execution of an Islamist leader in Bangladesh ignited violent protests across the country Friday that have left at least three dead ahead of elections early next year.

Abdul Quader Mollah, 65, the leader of the opposition Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami, was executed by hanging on Thursday for war crimes committed during Bagladesh’s 1971 war of independence against Pakistan. Supporters of Mollah attacked minority Hindus on Friday, burning homes and shops, torching cars and detonating several homemade bombs during the attack, the Associated Press reports.

A war crimes tribunal set up in 2010 convicted Mollah of killing a student and a family of 11. Many in Bangladesh say Pakistani soldiers were helped by local collaborators in killing at least 3 million and raping 200,000 women during the nine-month independence war.