At least 34 people were killed in violent clashes after a special war crimes tribunal sentenced the leader of Bangladesh’s Islamic political party to death by hanging.

Deadly protests erupted across the country Thursday after Delwar Hossain Sayedee, the Jamaat-e-Islami party’s vice president, was found guilty of war crimes – including murder, arson and rape – during the 1971 independence conflict.

At least 23 protesters were shot in Thursday’s clashes after police opened fire, AFP reports.

“At least 10,000 Jamaat supporters attacked us. We were forced to open fire,” local police chief Monjur Rahman told AFP.

Four policemen were killed in the riots including two who were beaten to death after protesters hurled homemade bombs at a police station in Gaibandha in Bangladesh’s north, Rahman said.

Jamaat supporters reportedly attacked several Hindu homes and temples in the southern Noahkhali and Chittagong districts, leaving one old Hindu man dead.

About 300 people, including scores of policemen, were injured, local media said.

Sayedee is the third person to be convicted by the International Crimes Tribunal. Early last month, deadly riots broke out after Abdul Quader Mullah, the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, was sentence to life in prison for war crimes.