Dhaka: An outlawed Al-Qaeda outfit yesterday claimed responsibility for the brutal killing of Bangladesh’s first gay magazine editor and his friend here for “pioneering” homosexuality in the Muslim-majority country which has seen a string of murders of secular activists and bloggers.
Relatives and friends attend the funeral of Bangladeshi activist Xulhaz Mannan in Dhaka. Pic/AFP
Xulhaz Mannan, the editor of ‘Roopban’ — the only magazine in Bangladesh advocating gay rights — and his friend Tanay Majumder were killed yesterday by armed assailants who entered the flat impersonating courier company officials, police said as
they detained a college student in connection with the twin murders.
The Al-Qaeda in the Indian Sub continent (AQIS) claimed responsibility for killing the duo, saying that the two were killed because they were “pioneers of promoting and practicing homosexuality.”
“The mujahidin of Ansar al-Islam (AQIS, Bangladesh branch) were able to assassin Xulhaz Mannan and his associate Tanay Majumder. They were the pioneers of practicing and promoting homosexuality in Bangladesh,” the AQIS said in a Twitter post.
“They were working day and night to promote homosexuality among the people of this land with the help of their masters, the US crusaders and its Indian allies,” it said.
Bangladesh police have detained a college student and claimed to have found some “important evidence”. Senior Assistant Police Commissioner Shibli Noman said police found a bag used by the assailants which appeared as “important evidence” in investigating the case.
A police officer chased the killers and managed to snatch a bag from them as they were fleeing the scene, Noman said, adding that the officer was also injured in the scuffle. One police official said they found several items including a mobile phone in the bag.