Earlier this month I wrote about the string of brutal murders that have taken place in Bangladesh over the past two years. An Islamic extremist group has made it their mission to target bloggers who espouse secular views, hacking them to death in the street with machetes.
Monday there was another attack in the capital city of Dhaka. Xulhaz Mannan, the editor of Bangladesh’s first gay rights magazine, was murdered along with a friend. CNN reports:
Mannan and someone described only as a friend were in a flat in Dhaka when five or six young men posing as couriers arrived at Mannan’s building under the guise of delivering a package, said Mohammad Iqbal, officer in charge of the Kalabagan police station.
They entered the second-floor apartment and hacked Mannan and his friend to death with machetes, Iqbal said. Mannan’s mother and a maid were also in the flat at the time, he said. Both are alive.
Mannan also worked at the U.S. Embassy and the Embassy released a statement saying, “We abhor this senseless act of violence and urge the Government of Bangladesh in the strongest terms to apprehend the criminals behind these murders.”
Suspects have not been identified or arrested yet but the pattern suggests the murder is connected to the previous string of killings. Along those lines, Fox News reports a detail that didn’t make it into the CNN story:
According to a man who told local broadcaster Somoy TV that he had witnessed the attack, at least five young men took part in the killing and chanted “Allahu Akbar,” or “Allah is Great” as they left the scene.
Mannan’s death follows that of a University professor who was killed on the street Saturday at a bus stop. From CNN:
The killings come a day after Bangladeshi police detained a university student in the hacking death of 58-year-old Rezaul Karim Siddique, an English teacher at Rajshahi University.
Rajshahi police Commissioner Mohammad Shamsuddin said the student wasn’t charged and it remained unclear whhy Siddique had been stabbed in the neck as he awaited a bus to take him to campus Saturday.
Ansarullah Bangla, the group believed to be behind many of the recent killings, published an international hit list last year. The list included writers and bloggers in the UK, Germany and the United States.