A Christian shopkeeper in northwest Bangladesh was murdered by unknown men on Sunday, June 5. This marks the latest public murder in a series of murders that has targeted Bangladesh’s religious minorities and secular activists. Often, extremist elements claiming connections to ISIS have taken credit for these murders, but the Bangladeshi government has been quick to deny the operation of ISIS within its borders. Still, many religious minorities report feeling afraid and unsafe in the small South Asian nation.
6/6/2016 Bangladesh (Express Tribune) – Unidentified men hacked to death a Christian grocer near a church in Bangladesh’s northwest on Sunday, police said, amid growing attacks on religious minorities and secular activists by Islamist militants.
“Sunil Gomes was hacked to death at his grocery store just near a church at Bonpara village,” Shafiqul Islam, deputy police chief of Natore district where the murder took place, told AFP.
Another police officer, inspector Abdur Razzak, said the motive for the killing of 65-year-old Gomes was unclear.
But the attack was similar to those on Hindus, Buddhists and members of other religious minorities in Muslim-majority Bangladesh in recent months.
The murder came just hours after the wife of a top anti-terror police officer was stabbed and shot dead in the southeastern city of Chittagong.
Bangladesh is reeling from a wave of gruesome murders of liberals, secular activists and religious minorities.
Police say more than 40 people have been killed by homegrown Islamists in the past three years, with a spike in attacks in recent weeks.