Two killed as Bangladesh Islamists protest at execution of Islamist leader for 1971 war massacre
Two student activists have been shot dead in Bangladesh, police said Monday, as the largest Islamist party tried to enforce a nationwide strike to protest at the execution of a senior leader.
There were also reports of protesters firebombing vehicles around the country as tensions ran high following the execution late Saturday of Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party.
Police said the body of a 22-year-old student supporter of the party had been found in the western city of Rajshahi on Monday. He had been shot at least five times.
Another student activist died in hospital on Monday morning after he was shot during clashes between police and protesters in the northwestern district of Sirajganj on Sunday night.
Ahmed said the clashes broke out after police arrested four student supporters of Jamaat.
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 during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. He was hanged on Saturday.
Jamaat has condemned the execution as "political murder" and says the government is more interested in mounting a witch-hunt against its opponents than in justice. It also 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.
Hundreds of secular supporters burst into cheers and made victory signs as news of the hanging was announced in central Dhaka on Saturday, where they gathered to celebrate the death of a man they called a "war butcher".
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.
Security was tight across the country on Monday with extra police, other security forces and border guards patrolling sensitive places. (AFP)