Two gay-rights activists hacked to death in Bangladesh

Date published: Tuesday, 26th April 2016

Mannan ran a transgender magazine Rupban and previously worked at the US embassy

Two people, including an editor of a transgender magazine, have been hacked to death in Bangladesh capital of Dhaka.

A third person, security guard of the apartment building wher the incident took place, was critically injured in Monday's attack that saw six assailants kill Julhas Mannan and Tanay Mojumdar.

Mannan ran a transgender magazine Rupban and previously worked at the US embassy.

"Unidentified attackers entered an apartment at Kalabagan and hacked two people to death," Maruf Hossain Sorder, Dhaka Metropolitan Police spokesman, told AFP news agency.

The incident comes two days after a university professor was killed in a similar fashion in an attack in Rajshahi claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

Parvez Mollah, 18, the security guard told Al Jazeera that the six attackers were aged between 25 and 30 arrived at the building posing as couriers.

Mollah, the security guard, was injured in the attack and is being treated in hospital

"They told me that had some parcels for Mannan and as I went up to his apartment, three of the six attackers followed me to the second floor and attacked Mannan with machetes," said Mollah.

"As Mannan fell to the floor, the attackers entered the apartment and fired bullets before fleeing."

Al Jazeera's Tanvir Chowdhury, reporting from Dhaka, said space for freedom of speech was diminishing in the country with these kind of attacks.

"There is major fear in the country and the government is denying involvement of international terrorists or ISIL in the country even after the groups have highlighted that Bangladesh is one of their operating base," he said.

Earlier this month, Nazimuddin Samad, a 28-year-old law student, was hacked to death by three men riding a motorcycle as he walked with a friend in central Dhaka.

Last year, assailants hacked to death at least four atheist bloggers and a secular publisher in a long-running series of killings of secular activists.

The Muslim-majority country has seen a surge in violent attacks over the past few months in which liberal activists, members of minority Muslim sects and other religious groups have been targeted.


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