Attackers have killed three more people in Bangladesh, including the editor of the country’s only LGBT magazine.
Xulhaz Mannan also worked at the U.S. embassy. A mob killed him and another man at a Dhaka flat, leaving a man injured.
“I am devastated by the brutal murder of Xulhaz Mannan and another young Bangladeshi,” declared U.S. Ambassador Marcia Bernicat. “We abhor this senseless act of violence and urge the Government of Bangladesh in the strongest terms to apprehend the criminals behind these murders.”
At least five or six men arrived at the flat “posing as couriers.” They claimed to have a package for Mannan. When they entered, the men hacked Mannan and his friend Majumdar to death with machetes.
Both men worked at the magazine Roopbaan. BBC Bengali Service editor said the staff at the magazine took extra precautions “to protect their identities but had not believed their lives were at risk.”
This news broke just a day after authorities apprehended a student in connection to the hacking death of an English professor.
“We haven’t arrested him or brought any charges against him yet,”explained Rajshahi police commissioner Mohammad Shamsuddin. “He is a suspect, and we’ve taken him to our custody for interrogation.”
English professor Rezaul Karim Siddique, 58, worked at Rajshahi University. Someone attacked him from behind as he waited for a bus. The attacker stabbed him in the neck.
Radical Islamists have killed or attacked nearly ten secular bloggers in the past year, but authorities have not found a connection between them and Siddique’s murder.
“He was neither a blogger nor an anti-Islamic campaigner, but the pattern of the murder indicates Islamist militants involved in the recent spate of killings of secular bloggers might have a link,” continued Shamsuddin.
The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) took responsibility for the attack.
“ISIS fighters assassinated a university professor for calling to atheism in the city of Rajshahi in Bangladesh,” the group said in a statement through Amaq, its media agency.
But Siddique’s daughter says her father was not an atheist, but believed in God.
“The investigators are investigating still, and we are still waiting to see the results,” said Rizwana Hasin. “We still don’t know what was the reason. Maybe [a] misunderstanding, maybe something else. It’s still a maybe for me and it’s still a maybe for my family.”
Earlier this month, men attacked and hacked to death liberal blogger Nazimuddin Samad with machetes after he left his law classes at Jagganath University. Samad often criticized religion on his Facebook page.
Extremists attacked these bloggers in the past year:
August 6 – Niloy Chatterjee, blogger, hacked to death at his home in Dhaka.
May 12 – Ananta Bijoy Das, blogger for Mukto-Mona website, killed while on his way to work in the city of Sylhet.
March 30 – Washiqur Rahman Babu, blogger, hacked to death by three men in Dhaka.
February 26 – Avijit Roy, a prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger, killed while walking with his wife outside Dhaka University.
They also attacked and killed two men who “published the works of atheist writers” in October.