haka - A leader of Bangladesh's largest Islamist party was sentenced to death Thursday for war crimes during the country's 1971 war of independence against Pakistan.

Delawar Hossain Sayedee, vice president of the opposition Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party, was sentenced by a special war crimes tribunal for his involvement in killings, looting, arson, rapes and the forcible conversions of Hindus to Islam during the nine-month war.

Judge ATM Fazle Kabir pronounced the verdict amid tight security, as the Jamaat-e-Islami party called a nationwide strike for Thursday demanding the release of Sayedee, Attorney General Mahbue be Alam said. - Sapa-dpa