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DHAKA: A Bangladesh court sentenced five men to death Thursday for the 2012 gang-rape of a 15-year-old girl, amid growing public anger over rampant sexual violence. The sentence was handed down in the northern district of Tangailby a special tribunal set up to deal with cases of abuse against women and children.

Prosecutor Nasim Ahmed said the victim's boyfriend took her to a riverside where she was raped by him and two friends. Two others helped them. "All five were found guilty and have been sentenced to death," Ahmed told AFP.

It was the first conviction since the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina this week introduced the death penalty for rape. Gang-rape already carried the death sentence, but rape by a single offender had previously been punishable only by life imprisonment.

Last week demonstrations broke out across the country after harrowing footage of a group of men stripping and attacking a woman went viral on social media. National anger over the issue has been simmering since last month, when members of the ruling party's student wing were arrested and charged in a separate gang rape case.