DHAKA - Bangladeshi security forces arrested on Sunday the leader of the country's biggest Islamist party on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, a senior police official said.

AKM Yusuf, the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, was arrested in the capital Dhaka and charged with offenses dating back to Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence with Pakistan.

His arrest comes after the sentencing to death last week of another Islamist party leader for wartime atrocities. That decision brought a wave of violent protest from supporters, and police say they are concerned about the risk of a backlash from Jamaat activists.

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