Learner activist hacked, shot to death in Bangladesh

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 12:53 PM

The killing on Wednesday night follows a string of similar attacks latest year, when at minimum five secular bloggers and publishers were killed, allegedly by radical Islamists.

Learner activist hacked, shot to death in Bangladesh

Three motorcycle-riding assailants hacked and shot a learner activist to death as he was walking with a companion in Bangladesh'south capital, police said Thursday.

The killing on Wednesday night follows a string of similar attacks latest year, when at minimum five secular bloggers and publishers were killed, allegedly by radical Islamists.

Police suspect 28-year-old Nazimuddin Samad was targeted for his outspoken atheism in the Muslim-majority country and for supporting a two thousand thirteen movement to demand capital punishment for war crimes involving the country'south independence war against Pakistan in one thousand nine hundred seventy-first, according to Dhaka Metropolitan Police Helper Commissioner Nurul Amin.

Number grouping immediately claimed responsibility.

The assailants, who'd been riding a single motorcycle, escaped after the assault while shouting, "Allahu Akbar," or "Allah is great."

Fellow students and friends of Samad rallied Thursday at the state-run Jagannath University, where Samad was studying law and had attended class the evening of the attack.

"This is very dreary for us. We're trying whatever we can do maintain the family during such challenging time," Univ proctor Nur Mohammad said.

People also flooded Samad'south Facebook page with messages to their late friend. "Friend, please pardon us. You were, you are, you'll be (with us)," wrote one companion called Rahat Chowdhury.

Many of Samad'south posts criticized radical Islam and promoted secularism. A supporter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina'south secular Awami League party, Samad also took portion in the movement that successfully pushed for prosecutors to have more scope for going after suspected war criminals.

Hasina'south government has been cracking down on radical Islamist groups, which it blames for the fatal attacks latest year on secular bloggers, minority Shiites, Christians and two foreigners. It accuses the opposition of supporting religious radicals in seeking to retaliate against the government for prosecuting suspected war crimes.

Some of the attacks were claimed by the Islamic State group, but the government dismisses those claims and says the Sunni extremist grouping has number presence in the country.

Two international groups promoting freedom of expression said the ongoing attacks showed Hasina'south government was failing to protect people.

"We urge the Bangladeshi police and other authorities to do everything in their power to inquire into and prosecute this cruel attack on free speech and thought, and halt this terrible pattern of murders," said Karin Deutsch Karlekar of PEN America, a grouping of 4.400 U. S. writers.

She also called on the U. S. and other countries to allow refuge to writers and secularists being targeted in Bangladesh. Samad'south killing "is a cruel illustration of the costs of inaction," she said.

The Middle for Inquiry also expressed concern. The center'south public policy director, Michael De Dora, said the Bangladeshi government "must do much more to defend its own people from marauding Islamist killers."

"These murders hold happening because they're allowed to happen," Dora said.

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