A local leader of Bangladesh's ruling Awami League was killed Friday, bringing to 34 the official death count in riots this week after the sentencing to death of an Islamist opposition leader for war crimes, dpa reported.
Violence erupted across Bangladesh after Delawar Hossain Sayedee, 73, vice president of the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party, was convicted and sentenced Thursday for his involvement in murders, looting, arson, rape and the forcible conversions of Hindus to Islam during Bangladesh's nine-month independence war against Pakistan in 1971.
The man killed Friday was an Awami League leader in the northern district of Gaibandha, beaten to death by Jamaat-e-Islami activists after three of their number were killed in the district in Thursday's violence, along with two policemen, police said.
Media reports put the countrywide death toll in the last two days at more than 40, while Jamaat-e-Islami said 50 people had died.
The party's supporters and its student wing went on the rampage to protest the verdict, which they called politically motivated.
Police said more violence was feared, as Jamaat-e-Islami called for more protests and a 48-hour nationwide strike from Sunday and for more protests from Saturday.
Anti-Jammat demonstrators, who have demanded the execution of all alleged war criminals, were planning their own rally Friday in Dhaka.
Several thousand protesters occupied the city's busy Shahbagh intersection last month, demanding the harsher death sentence for Abdul Quader Mollah, another Jamaat-e-Islami leader, after the court sentenced him to life for genocide and rape in 1971.
The tribunal, which was set up by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed in 2010 to prosecute collaborators with the Pakistani forces, is due to prosecute a total of 13 people.
An earlier attempt to try war crimes suspects was called off after the assassination in 1975 of the country's founding president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Hasina's father.
An estimated 3 million people were killed in the 1971 war, about 200,000 women were raped and thousands of buildings torched.