At least 34 people died in disturbances that broke out after the leader of the main Islamist party was sentenced to death for atrocities committed during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence, the official UNB news agency said Thursday.

Partisans of Delawar Hossein Sayedi's Jamaat-e-Islami party clashed with security forces and supporters of other parties in incidents across Bangladesh.

JeI militants also attacked members of Bangladesh's minority Hindu community.

Protests have been going on since the start of Sayedi's trial for crimes against humanity during the 1971 conflict that transformed East Pakistan into the independent nation of Bangladesh.

JeI was aligned with Pakistan during the war, which left 3 million dead and saw 2 million women raped, according to unofficial figures.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League created special courts to try people accused of carrying out atrocities during the independence struggle.

Most of the defendants have been members of JeI. EFE