Dhaka: A top Shia preacher and homeopathic doctor has been stabbed to death in southwestern Bangladesh in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group, the latest in a series of killings by the dreaded outfit.
Abdur Razzak, 48, was hacked to death by unidentified men Monday night when he was returning home from his shop in Kaliganj town in Jhenaidah district.
He was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him dead, said Anwar Hossain, officer-in-charge of Kaliganj Police Station.
The IS claimed responsibility for the killing, the DailyStar reported. But police rejected the IS claim.
Razzak was a loyal Shia preacher, said Feroz Hossain, headmaster of nearby Bejpara Higher Secondary School. "He was an honest man, often preached religion."
Razzak's wife Shahnaj Parvin said a few months back her husband received an anonymous extortion call for Bangladeshi Taka (Tk) 2 lakh (USD 2,550).
"He had no enemy. He was a doctor and Shia follower." Bangladesh has witnessed several incidents of violence and targeted killings of atheist bloggers, religious minorities and foreigners in the past three years.
Systematic assaults in Bangladesh over the past six months have killed at least nine persons including two foreigners and wounded more than 100.
A Hindu head priest was on February 21 hacked to death by gun-and-cleaver wielding Islamists at a temple in northern Panchagarh district's Debiganj Upazila.
In September last, Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella was murdered by unidentified assailants in Dhaka, and within five days of that incident Japanese farmer Kunio Hoshi was killed.
Both attacks were claimed by IS-affiliated militants. Also, moderate Sufi saint Khizir Khan, progressive book publisher Faisal Arefin Dipon, and a Sufi shrine worker were murdered while two Christian pastors, one an Italian doctor, narrowly escaped attacks.
The IS has claimed a series of attacks against religious minorities in the Sunni-majority Bangladesh, which was declared officially secular after a deadly liberation struggle
against Pakistan in 1971. PTI