- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Police opened fire on protesters Tuesday as violence erupted in cities in Bangladesh over a war crimes tribunal’s sentencing of a key Islamist party leader to life in prison.

Abdul Quader Mollah, 64, was found guilty of murder, rape, torture and arson, Reuters reported. He committed the acts, according to Reuters, during Bangladesh’s 1971 war with Pakistan.

Supporters of Mollah clashed with police shortly after the verdict was read. Police used gunfire and truncheons to help drive back the protesters in the city of Chittagong; one person was killed, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, others expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict as too lax.

Mollah’s verdict is the second the court has issued in the past month related to the 1971 war. A month ago, a former Islamist party official was sentenced to death, and prosecutors expected more of the same for  Mollah’s punishment.

“We hare not happy with the verdict,” said Mohammad Ali, a state prosecutor, according to Reuters. “We wanted his death and are surprised by the lesser punishment handed out by the tribunal.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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