Al Qaeda claims responsibility for pro-LGBT editor murder, says he was 'pioneering' homosexuality

Dhaka: The Al Qaeda terrorist outfit on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the brutal killings of Bangladesh's first LGBT magazine editor along with a friend here, saying they were executed for "pioneering" homosexuality in the Muslim-majority country.

Julhash Mannan, the editor of 'Roopban' - the only magazine in Bangladesh advocating gay rights - and his friend Tanay Fahim were killed yesterday by armed assailants who entered the flat impersonating as courier company officials, police said.

The Al Qaeda in the Indian Sub continent (AQIS) claimed responsibility for killing the duo, saying that the two were because they were "pioneers of promoting and practicing homosexuality."

"The mujahidin of Ansar al-Islam (AQIS, Bangladesh branch) were able to assassin Julhash Mannan and his associate Tanay Fahim. They were the pioneers of practicing and promoting homosexuality in Bangladesh," the AQIS said in a Twitter post.

The bodies of two gay rights activists who were hacked to death are brought down from an apartment in Dhaka on. Getty Images

The bodies of two gay rights activists who were hacked to death are brought down from an apartment in Dhaka on. Getty Images

"They were working day and night to promote homosexuality among the people of this land with the help of their masters, the US crusaders and its Indian allies," it was quoted as saying by Dhaka Tribune.

Mannan, 35, a cousin of former foreign minister Dipu Moni and ex-protocol officer of the US embassy, was known for his gay rights activism. Fahim, the other victim, was also a LGBT activist.

The assailants barged into Mannan's flat on the second floor and stabbed him and his friend indiscriminately, Abdul Bari, a sub-inspector of Special Branch (SB) of police, was quoted as saying by the Daily Star.

The two died immediately on the spot. Mannan's body was found lying at the entrance of the house while Fahim's body was found inside. The killings came two days after the grisly murder of liberal university professor Rezaul Karim Siddiquee in the northern Rajshahi city. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State.

Updated Date: Apr 26, 2016 18:45 PM

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