Hindu priest in Bangladesh hacked to death by suspected Islamists

The scene where Christian convert Hossain Ali was murdered is seen on March 23, 2016 in Kurigram, Bangladesh. Photograph:( Getty )

Reuters Dhaka Jun 07, 2016, 11.25 AM (IST)
A Hindu priest was hacked to death in Bangladesh today, in what police suspected was the latest in a spate of attacks by Islamist militants on minority groups in the majority-Muslim country.

Three attackers on a motorcycle killed Ananta Gopal Ganguly, 70, when he was on his way to the temple he served in Jhenaidah district, about 100 miles (161 km) west of the capital, Dhaka, the police said.

The attack bore the hallmarks of previous killings by Islamist militants. The government had banned more than one person from riding pillion on a motorcycle on Monday, a day after the wife of a prominent anti-terror security official was shot dead by three suspected militants on a motorbike.

A 60-year-old Christian grocer was also hacked to death on Sunday in an attack claimed by the Islamic State.

Since February last year, militants in Bangladesh have killed more than 30 people, including members of religious minorities, liberal bloggers and academics.

The Islamic State and al-Qaeda have claimed responsibility for most of the killings, but the government denies that either group has a presence in Bangladesh. The government has launched a crackdown on militant groups who want to impose stricter Islamic laws in Bangladesh.