Two dead in clashes in Bangladesh between Jamaat-e-Islami party supporters and police

Supporters were marching during one-day strike to protest conviction of previous party chief for his role in 1971 war
  • @oscarquine

Two people have been killed in south-western Bangladesh in clashes between the police and opposition supporters amid a nationwide general strike.

Hundreds of supporters of the Jamaat-e-Islami party were marching to enforce the day-long strike, called in protest at the jailing of the party's former chief Ghulam Azam for his role in the country's independence war against Pakistan in 1971.

Local police reported that they opened fire when the Jamaat-e-Islami supporters attacked an officer with machetes. In addition to the two fatalities, three activists and nine police officials were injured.

A tribunal held on Monday sentenced 91-year-old Azam to 90 years in jail, in lieu of the death sentence due to his age.

Azam led the Jamaat-e-Islami party in 1971 when Bangladesh gained independence. He is among several of the party's leaders convicted by a tribunal formed by the government in 2010 to try those accused of collaborating with the Pakistani army during the war. 

Bangladesh says the Pakistani army killed 3 million people and raped 200,000 women during the war.