Bangladesh protesters urge death sentence for politician

DHAKA (AP) - Thousands of people have demonstrated in Bangladesh's capital to demand a death sentence for an Islamic party leader accused of committing atrocities during the country's 1971 independence war.

More than 5,000 people rallied on Wednesday after a special tribunal said it would deliver its verdict against Delwar Hossain Sayedee the next day.

Sayedee is among nine leaders of the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party who have been put on trial on charges of mass killings and atrocities allegedly committed during Bangladesh's war of separation from Pakistan. Earlier this month, another party leader was sentenced to life in prison.

The Islamic party, a key ally of the country's main opposition party, denies committing atrocities and says the charges are politically motivated. It has called a general strike on Thursday to protest Sayedee's expected conviction.