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Police: Hindu Monastery Worker Hacked to Death in Bangladesh

A Hindu monastery worker in Bangladesh was hacked to death on an early morning walk Friday, in what local police believe is the latest in a string of brutal attacks against religious minorities throughout the country.

Nityaranjan Pande, 62, was walking in the northwestern district of Pabna when unidentified hackers attacked him and killed him.

Though no group has yet taken responsibility for the killing, local police say it bears the marks of similar attacks carried out by Islamist militants.

More than 40 people have been killed in similar attacks over the past three years, and the violence has escalated in the past few months. A Hindu priest was hacked to death earlier this week on his way to temple.

Among the victims

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 police in the capital of Dhaka Tuesday, as national forces attempt to crack down on the militants blamed for these attacks.

Islamic State and an al-Qaida faction have claimed responsibility 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, about 90 percent of Bangladeshis are Muslim.