Fresh clashes erupted on Friday in Bangladesh, bringing the number of people killed to 52 in violence triggered by convictions for Islamist leaders over war crimes committed during the 1971 independence war.

A rickshawpuller was killed after hundreds of pro-government supporters and followers of the rival Jamaat-e-Islami party clashed with sticks at a market in the northern district of Gaibandha, local police chief Nahidul Islam told AFP.

Security has been tightened around thousands of mosques across the Muslim-majority nation, with border guards deployed in major cities.

On Thursday, clashes flared across the country after Jamaat's vice president was found guilty of murder, religious persecution and rape by a war crimes tribunal hearing cases dating back to the 1971 independence conflict.

Delwar Hossain Sayedee, now a firebrand preacher, was the third person to be convicted by the court whose previous verdicts have been met with outrage from Islamists who say the process is more about settling scores than delivering justice.At least 35 people were killed in the violence on Thursday, according to an AFP toll compiled after talking to police in the 15 districts where protests turned deadly. A policeman was the latest to die of his wounds, raising the number of security personnel killed to five.

Twenty-three of those killed on Thursday were shot after police opened fire on thousands of rampaging Jamaat supporters who attacked law-enforcers. The latest death on Friday brought the overall toll to 52 since the tribunal delivered its first verdict on Jan 21.AFP