A Hindu priest was killed Monday in what police fear is the latest of a string of attacks against Hindus in the Muslim-majority nation of Bangladesh.
Seventy-year-old Hindu priest Ananda Gopal Ganguly was found dead near his home in the village of Noldanga hours after he went missing, reportedly on his way to morning prayers.
His near decapitated body bore similarities of Hindus and Christians across the country hacked to death by Islamic militants.
Over 40 people have been killed in similar attacks over the past three years, and the violence has escalated over the past few months. A Christian was hacked to death just two days ago after Sunday prayers in the northwest.
Gay-rights activists, liberal professors, and secular bloggers have also been among the victims of these killings.
Three Islamist militants were reportedly killed in a separate clash with the police in the capital of Dhaka on Tuesday, as national forces attempt to crack down on the militants blamed for these attacks.
Islamic State and an al-Qaida faction have claimed credit for some of the attacks, but Bangladesh authorities continue to insist there are no foreign terror groups operating in the country. Instead, officials have blamed local militants or the political opposition.
Though officially a secular country, around 90% of Bangladeshis are Muslim.