Bangladesh hangs Islamist leader for war crimes

Bangladesh executes Islamist leader for 1971 war crimes, deadly clashes erupt on streets

DHAKA: Bangladesh executed Islamist opposition leader Abdul Quader Mollah on Thursday for war crimes he committed in 1971, in a move likely to spark more violent protests less than a month before elections are due to be held.

Mollah was hanged at Dhaka Central Jail after a dramatic week. He won a reprieve on Tuesday hours before he was to be sent to the gallows. After two days of legal argument, the supreme court rejected his application for a review of the death penalty.

Hundreds of people in the centre of the capital Dhaka cheered and punched the air in celebration, underlining how Mollah’s case has divided opinion in the impoverished South Asian nation of 160 million. “Justice has been served, though we had to wait for 42 years,” said university student Afzal Hossain.

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