Bangladeshi university professor hacked to death in Rajshahi

pen and sword

Source: BBC

A university professor has been hacked to death in Bangladesh, in an attack police say is similar to killings of secular bloggers and atheists by suspected Islamist extremists.

AFM Rezaul Karim Siddique, 58, was a professor of English at Rajshahi University in the country’s north-west.

He was attacked with machetes as he left home to go to work.

So-called Islamic State militants say they killed him for “calling to atheism” in Bangladesh.

The claim was made by IS-linked Amaq Agency, cited by US-based SITE Intelligence Group which monitors jihadist groups.

However, Siddique’s colleagues earlier said that he had not written anything controversial and was not an atheist, unlike previous victims.

Police believe that he may have been targeted by suspected Islamist extremists because he was involved in cultural activities.

The BBC’s Dhaka correspondent Akbar Hossain says hardline Islamist groups dislike anyone involved in the cultural field.

Last year, four prominent secular bloggers were killed with machetes.

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Siddique had founded a music school and edited a literary magazine, his family told the BBC.

Deputy police commissioner Nahidul Islam told AFP news agency that the music school was in Bagmara, a former bastion of outlawed Islamist group Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

Professor's Siddique's sister mourns after hearing the news of his deathImage copyrightEPA
Image captionHis family say they cannot understand his murder

Members of JMB were arrested over an assault on an Italian Catholic priest late last year.

Siddique’s wife, Hosne Ara, said she had no idea why anyone would want to kill her husband.

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