Bangladesh protests toll reaches 44

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Protesters clashed with pol-ice for a second day yesterday as the death toll rose to at least 44 in clashes triggered by a death sentence given to an Islamic party leader for crimes linked to Bangladesh’s 1971 independence war, police said.

The latest fighting broke out in northern Gainbandha and Chapainawabganj districts, killing two people, police officials said.

At least 42 people were killed on Thursday in rioting triggered by the death sentence given to Delwar Hossain Sayedee, one of the top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamic party.

In Dhaka, dozens of Jamaat supporters smashed several vehicles in central Malibagh district, witnesses said. Baton-wielding police dispersed the protesters.

Jamaat had called for protesters to congregate at mosques for yesterday’s Islamic prayers, and authorities responded by dispatching thousands of police and paramilitary troops to clamp down on Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka.

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