It Newspaper in Bangladesh
Police stand with the body of Faisal Arefin Deepan, a publisher of secular books. Photograph: Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty Images
A publisher of secular books has been hacked to death in the Bangladeshi capital, police have said. In a separate attack in Dhaka, police said two other writers and a publisher were stabbed and shot at a publishing house.
Fears of Islamist violence have been growing in Bangladesh after at least four atheist bloggers were murdered in the country this year. The attacks have been linked by police to domestic Islamist extremists, while Islamic State has claimed responsibility for three other attacks.
The body of Faisal Abedin Deepan, of the Jagriti Prokashoni publishing house, was found inside his office, said senior police officer Shibly Noman. The publisher had filed a complaint with police afterdeath threats on Facebook, friends said.
Earlier in the day, publisher Ahmed Rahim Tutul was attacked in the office of the Shudhdhoswar publishing house and seriously wounded. Two writers were also wounded in that attack. All three of the victims were hospitalised, and Tutul was in critical condition, police said.
Both Deepan and Tutal had published books by Bangladeshi-American writer and blogger . He was one of the four secular bloggers killed in Bangladesh this year.
A local Islamist group, Ansarullah Bangla Team, had claimed responsibility for the killings and recently threatened to kill more bloggers. At least 15 members of Ansar Bangla, including a British citizen, have been arrested since August, when blogger Niloy Chatterjee was killed by a group of attackers armed with machetes.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attacks.
Bangladesh has been rocked by a series of attacks this year claimed by Islamic extremists, including the blogger murders and, more recently, the killing of two foreigners: an Italian aid volunteer and a Japanese agricultural worker. A bomb attack on 24 October in Dhaka aimed at Shia Muslims killed a teenager and injured more than 100 other people.
Isis claimed responsibility for the attacks on the two foreigners and the bombing, but Bangladesh’s government has denied the extremist Sunni militant group has any presence in the country.
The government has instead blamed domestic Islamist militants and political parties for orchestrating the violence in a bid to destabilise the nation.
Avijit Roy’s books included Caravan of Darkness Walking With Light in Hand (2005), In Search of Life and Intelligence in the Universe (2007), The Virus of Faith (2008), Homosexuality: A Scientific and Socio-psychological Investigation (2010) and The Philosophy of Disbelief (2011).
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