Dhaka | A 50-year-old Hindu priest was today hacked to death in Bangladesh by three unidentified machete- wielding assailants, the third priest to be killed this year in the Muslim-majority nation which has seen a string of attacks by Islamists on minorities and secular activists.
Shymanondo Das was attacked around 6:30am in Jhenaidah district. Three motorbike-borne assailants attacked (priest) Shymanondo Das with machetes….doctors declared him dead at Jhinaidah Sadar Hospital, a police officer said.
Officer-in-charge of the nearby police station, Hafizur Rahman said Das was the priest of Radhamodon Gopal Moth. The predawn attack came as he was collecting flowers for worship. He said the killers quickly fled the scene, a pattern which was followed in previous several such Islamist attacks on secular or liberal activists and religious minorities.
The attack on Das came days after suspected militants killed a Hindu monastery worker in northwestern Pabna. On June 7, a 65-year-old Hindu priest was killed by three bike-borne assailants in the same district while he was on his way to a temple.
A Christian businessman was hacked to death on June 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. Police last month launched a nationwide anti-militancy week-long crackdown to halt these deadly attacks.