DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Authorities deployed soldiers in a northern Bangladeshi district on Sunday after Islamic party activists clashed with police, leaving five people dead during a nationwide general strike called to denounce war crimes trials. Seven people died in similar clashes in the northwest, police and news reports said.
With the latest casualties, the death toll in four days of rioting climbed to 58. The clashes broke out Thursday after a war crimes tribunal sentenced a leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh's largest Islamic party, to death for atrocities committed during Bangladesh's 1971 independence war against Pakistan.
Delwar Hossain Sayedee was the third defendant to be convicted by the tribunal, which was set up in 2010 by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government.
Bangladesh says the war left 3 million people dead, 200,000 women raped and forced millions to flee to neighboring India.
Mokbul Hossain, a police superintendent in Bogra district, said the deployment of troops there came after five men died in clashes on Sunday.
Hossain said the latest violence erupted after Jamaat-e-Islami activists attacked at least four police outposts and an office of the ruling Awami League party and torched the home of a local ruling party leader.
Authorities banned all gatherings in Bogra to stop any further escalation of violence.
Separately, three people, including a child, died in violence in the northwestern district of Rajshahi, the Daily Star newspaper and Independent television station reported. Details were not immediately available and the reports could not be independently verified.
Another three people were killed in clashes between police and Jamaat activists in Joypurhar district, a local police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Joypurhat is 208 kilometers (130 miles) northwest of Dhaka, the capital.
A policeman was killed in similar clashes in western Jhenaidah district, the Daily Star reported.