Unknown assailants hacked a Christian grocer to death in northwest Bangladesh Sunday, police said. The country is grappling with several such attacks by Islamist militants on religious minorities and secular activists.
The deceased was identified as 65-year-old Sunil Gomes of Bonpara village, which houses one of the oldest Christian communities in the Muslim-dominant nation, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). Local police official Abdur Razzak reportedly said that although the motive for the killing was unknown, it bore resemblance to the attacks on Hindus and other religious minorities in recent months.
“Sunil Gomes was hacked to death at his grocery store just near a church at Bonpara village,” Shafiqul Islam, deputy police chief of the surrounding Natore district, told AFP.
Gomes’ death took place hours after the wife of a police official was shot dead in the southeastern port city of Chittagong. The police official Babul Aktar has worked to curb Islamic extremism, which has grown in the South Asian nation.
Over 40 people have been killed in Bangladesh over the past three years due to attacks by Islamic militants. Last month, police arrested and charged militant, Maskawat Hasan Sakib, for the murder of Rajshahi University professor Rezaul Karim Siddique. The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, had claimed the responsibility of the murder. However, local police denied the existence of any foreign Islamist outfit in Bangladesh.