Nityaranjan Pande, a Hindu monastery worker, was hacked to death in Bangladesh early Friday, police said. The incident is the latest in a string of attacks on secular and minority targets in the Muslim-majority country.

The 62-year-old died on the spot after several people attacked him, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported, citing police. No group has claimed responsibility for the killing. Pande's hacking death comes just days after a Hindu priest was found dead with his head nearly severed in a field on Tuesday. Most of the attacks in Bangladesh have been blamed on, or claimed by, Islamic militants.

"There was no eyewitness to the attack as it happened very early in the morning," Alamgir Kabir, the head of police in the north-western district of Pabna, told AFP.

Pande had been working at the monastery for 40 years, officials said. According to local media reports, the attack occurred close to the monastery.

More than 40 people have been killed since January last year in a wave of attacks, targeting secular bloggers, academics and gay rights activists.

Police have arrested members of a banned group called the Ansarullah Bangla Team, which is connected to al Qaeda, over the murders of secular and atheist bloggers, but none have yet been prosecuted.

The group's actions are seen as a threat to free speech in the South Asian country and a form of retaliation against the 2013 protests that pushed for harsher punishments for former Islamist leaders who were convicted of war crimes.