DHAKA - Two senior Bangladeshi opposition leaders were executed early Sunday for war crimes committed during the 1971 independence war with Pakistan after their last-ditch pleas for clemency were rejected. “Both of them have been hanged. The execution took place at 00:45am (1845 GMT Saturday),” Justice Minister Anisul Huq told AFP after Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury lost their final bid to escape the gallows.

Hundreds of police had been stationed outside Dhaka Central Jail where scaffolds had been prepared to execute the two by hanging.The first sign that the executions had taken place came when four ambulances were driven away from the prison in the old quarter of the capital Dhaka.