5 killed in Bangladesh as Mollah’s execution sparks violent protests

Dhaka voilenceA Bangladeshi man breaks down after his vehicle was set on fire by Jamaat activists following the execution of their party leader Abdul Quader Mollah in Dhaka Friday. AP

At least five people were killed Friday during clashes between angry Jamaat-e-Islami activists and Awami League supporters across Bangladesh, as executed Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah was buried in his hometown.

Mollah, the first person to be hanged for war crimes in the 1971 independence war, was buried in the family graveyard at Amirabad village in Faridpur district around 4:20 am after funeral prayers, District Magistrate Md Mamun Shiblee, who supervised the burial, was quoted as saying by bdnews24.com.

The execution of the 65-year-old Jamaat leader, infamous as the "Butcher of Mirpur", took place Thursday night after the Supreme Court earlier in the day rejected his review petition.

Following the execution, a Jamaat leader, Makbul Ahmed, in a statement said "people would take revenge on this killing by establishing Islam in Bangladesh, which is stained with the blood of Abdul Quader Mollah".

Activists of Jamaat and its student wing Chhatra Shibir vandalised, torched and looted around 50 houses and business establishments of Awami League supporters and minorities in different areas of the district after Mollah's execution, said Joybeb Chowdhury, additional superintendent of police in Satkhira.

Two Awami League supporters and a child — Azizur Rahman, 40, Judge Ali, 35, Riad Hossain, 10 —were killed in Satkhira while Jamaat activist Sukkur Ali, 25, was killed in Pirojpur, the Daily Star reported.

The paper said in Kalaroa upazila, Jamaat-Shibir men stabbed a local leader to death.

Jamaat supporters also took out flash processions and exploded crude bombs at several other areas. They clashed with police at many places. At many places, police opened fire and shot several rounds to disperse the protesters.

Jamaat supporters torched shops owned by Awami League leaders and activists at different Unions at Banshkhali in Chittagong and blockaded roads.

Even as violence swept through parts of the country Friday, hundreds of people rejoiced in the streets of Dhaka, and said justice had been served.

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