Violence over war crimes trial in Bangladesh kills 3
Dhaka: At least three persons were killed and several others injured as fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami activists turned violent in southeastern Cox's Bazar after Friday prayers to protest against their top leaders' trial for 1971 war crimes, taking the toll in the clashes to 13.
"Three people were killed in the violence and several injured as they (JI activists) suddenly took to the street after the (Friday's Muslim) jumma prayers...They attacked police violently as we intervened," police chief of beach resort district Mohammad Azad Mian told a news agency by phone.
A JI leader of the district told local reporters that all the three deceased were JI activists but police said two of them were JI workers who died during exchange of gunshots while the third victim was not identified yet.
He said authorities enforced a ban on rally of more than four people under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code and called paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh and elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion to guard the Cox's Bazar town.
The demonstrators have been demanding a halt to the trials of opposition JI party leaders for crimes including genocide and rape they are alleged to have committed during the 1971 war of independence against Pakistan.
A local journalist said more than 100 people were wounded during the clash and according to doctors, several of them were seriously wounded.
Quoting another police official, he said 122 activists of JI and Shibir were detained for the violence.
Thirteen people have now died of political violence including Jamaat supporters since the Islamists launched the protests last month. He said several hundred activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student affiliate Islamic Chhatra Shibir took to the street protesting their leaders' trial for "crimes against humanity" as the round-the-clock vigil by tens of thousands of youths at Dhaka's Shahbagh Square crossed 11th consecutive day demanding capital punishment for the war criminals.
Parliament members came out of the House to join the vigil.
Earlier this month, a war crimes tribunal sentenced JI assistant secretary general Abdul Quader Mollah to life imprisonment, while Abul Kalam Azad, a fugitive JI leader was sentenced to death for "crimes against humanity".