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Bangladesh Publisher Hacked to Death by Foes of 'Secularists'

  • VOA News

Bangladeshi activists protest against the killing of Faisal Arefin Deepan in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Oct. 31, 2015.

Bangladeshi activists protest against the killing of Faisal Arefin Deepan in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Oct. 31, 2015.

A publisher of secular books was hacked to death and three other people were wounded in two separate attacks Saturday at publishing houses in Bangladesh's capital, police said.

Both of the publishers involved in Saturday's attacks had published works by Bangladeshi-American blogger and writer Avijit Roy, who was hacked to death on the Dhaka University campus while walking with his wife in February.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the latest attacks. The local Islamist group Ansarullah Bangla Team had claimed responsibility for the blogger killings.

The slaughtered body of publisher Faisal Arefin Deepan, of the Jagriti Prokashoni publishing house, was found in his office following the second of Saturday's attacks, senior police officer Shibly Noman said.

Earlier in the day, publisher Ahmed Rahim Tutul and two writers were shot and stabbed by three men in the office of the Shudhdhoswar publishing house in Dhaka, said police officer Abdullah Al Mamun.

All three were hospitalized, and Tutul was in critical condition, police said.

Injured writer Sudeep Kumar Ray Barman receives treatment at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015.

Injured writer Sudeep Kumar Ray Barman receives treatment at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015.

Series of attacks

The latest attacks come amid fears about the rise of extremist Islamic groups in Bangladesh. At least four atheist bloggers have been murdered in the country this year.

Earlier this month, a bombing targeted Bangladesh's Shi'ite Muslims. An Italian aid worker and a Japanese agricultural worker were also killed in separate attacks. The Islamic State group claimed all three of those attacks, but Bangladesh's government denied the extremist Sunni militant group had any presence in the country.

The government instead blamed domestic Islamist militants along with Islamist political parties — specifically the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its main ally, Jamaat-e-Islami — for orchestrating the violence to destabilize the already fractious nation.

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