Dhaka: A Hindu priest was hacked to death today in Bangladesh by unidentified machete-wielding assailants, the latest murder in the Muslim-majority nation which has seen a string of brutal attacks on minorities and secular activists by Islamists.
Shymanondo Das was attacked around 6:30am in Jhenaidah. "Shymanondo was collecting flowers for worship when three assailants riding on a motorcycle attacked him with a machete," Jhenaidah police station officer-in-charge Hasan Hazijur Rahman said.
"They hacked him mercilessly and fled the scene," Dhaka Tribune quoted him as saying. There have been systematic assaults in Bangladesh in recent months specially targeting minorities, secular bloggers, intellectuals and foreigners. On Jun 7, a 65-year-old Hindu priest was killed by three bike-borne assailants in western Jhinaigah district while he was on his way to a temple.
A Christian businessman was hacked to death on Jun 5 by unidentified machete-wielding men near a church, hours after the wife of the top anti-terror police officer was shot dead by religious extremists. In February, militants stabbed to death a Hindu priest at a temple in Bangladesh and shot and wounded a devotee who went to his aid.
In April, a liberal professor was brutally hacked to death by machete-wielding ISIS militants who slit his throat near his home in Rajshahi city. In the same month, a Hindu tailor was also hacked to death by ISIS militants in his shop and Bangladesh's first gay magazine editor was brutally murdered along with a friend in his flat in Dhaka by Islamists.
The ISIS and al-Qaeda in Indian Peninsula have claimed responsibility for some of the attacks although the government denies their presence in Bangladesh.