War-scarred Bangladesh torn by new tensions
DHAKA (AFP) - When Bangladesh set up a war crimes court in 2010, its stated aim was to heal the wounds from the nation's traumatic birth.
Three years on, its first verdicts have plunged the country into one of its most turbulent chapters since it broke free from Pakistan four decades ago and threatens lasting damage to the world's eighth most populous country.
More than 80 people have been killed in protests, thousands of tourists have been forced to flee and a series of strikes have pummelled an economy which had enjoyed annual growth rates of around six percent over the last 10 years.
"The verdicts and the subsequent violence have set Bangladesh on the road to a protracted conflict, which may leave permanent damage to society," said Mr Ataur Rahman, a Bangladesh expert based at the State University of New York.