Terrorist attack and standoff in Bangladesh kills at least 20, injures 30
- Seven gunmen attacked the Holey Artisan Bakery, a popular restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter, and took hostages for 11 hours before security forces stormed in.
- The restaurant was popular with immigrants and other foreigners, and gunmen allegedly ordered Bangladeshis to stand before attacking foreign patrons including Italians, Japanese, Indians, and Sri Lankans.
- The attack, claimed by the Islamic State, is the largest in an escalating series targeting secularists, gay activists, foreigners, and religious minorities in the country.
“20 Hostages and Six Gunmen Killed in Bangladesh Attack” (The New York Times)
“Islamist militants kill 20 in Bangladesh before commandos end siege” (Reuters)
“20 killed execution-style” (Dhaka Tribune)
“Fate of seven Japanese among Bangladesh hostages unknown after siege ends” (The Japan Times)
(Image Credit: Reuters, via The Japan Times)
Militant arrested in connection to murder of LGBT activists in Bangladesh
- Shariful Islam, also known as Shihab, was arrested in the district of Kushtia in connection with the deaths of Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy.
- Though Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the murders, Dhaka police say Islam was affiliated with the banned local militant group Ansarullah Bangla Team.
- Since 2013, only one in the series of killings of atheists, moderates, and foreigners in Bangladesh has been prosecuted.
“Suspect arrested over murders of Bangladesh LGBT rights activist Xulhaz, his friend Tonoy” (bdnews24.com)
“Bangladesh police arrest Islamist over gay activists’ killing” (Reuters)
“Bangladesh police arrest suspect in stabbing death of USAID worker” (AP via The Chicago Tribune)
(Image Credit: AP photo, via The Chicago Tribune)
LGBT magazine editor murdered in Dhaka home as killings continue in Bangladesh
- Xulhaz Mannan and a visiting friend were hacked to death by a group of youth posing as couriers to gain access to Mannan’s home.
- Mannan was the editor of Roopbaan, Bangladesh’s only LGBT magazine, and a USAid worker.
- The murders are the latest in ongoing attacks against minority intellectuals and follow the detention of LGBT activists attempting to march in Bengali New Year festivities.
“Editor of Bangladesh’s first and only LGBT magazine killed” (The Guardian)
“LGBT magazine Roopbaan editor hacked to death” (The Dhaka Tribune)
“LGBT activist among two hacked to death in Dhaka” (The Hindu)
(Image Credit: via The Guardian)
Four LGBT activists detained in Dhaka after attempting to join new year festivities
- The four members of Roopbaan, a Bangladeshi LGBT rights group, were arrested for attempting to join Bengali New Year processions under suspicion of illegal assembly.
- The four were released after their families arrived to retrieve them, when police reportedly told their families they were gay.
- Roopbaan had attempted to arrange a “rainbow rally” weeks earlier but police had denied permission after fundamentalists issued threats of violence.
“Bangladesh: Police Detain LGBT Members at Pahela Boishakh Rally” (BenarNews)
“Boishakh ‘rainbow rally’ cancelled” (Dhaka Tribune)
“Four gay activists freed in Bangladesh” (Firstpost)
(Image Credit: AFP via BenarNews)
Protests planned after secular Bangladeshi blogger killed by suspected Islamist militants in Dhaka
- Nazimuddin Samad, a law student at a Dhaka university, was attacked at night by a group of machete-wielding men while returning home from class.
- An online activist group described Samad as “a loud voice against all injustice and also a great supporter of secularism,” and students at Jagannath University have called for demonstrations in protest of his murder.
- The murder follows six similar killings in 2015 and attacks on foreign nationals in Bangladesh.
“JnU student killed in suspected militant attack” (Dhaka Tribune)
“Liberal Bangladeshi blogger killed by machete-wielding attackers” (Reuters)
“Strike at Jagannath University on Sunday to protest Nazim murder” (bdnews24.com)
(Image Credit: via Dhaka Tribune)
Secular Bangladeshi book publisher murdered, three others attacked in separate incidents in Dhaka
- Faisal Abedin Deepan, a publisher affiliated with the Jagriti Prokashoni publishing house, was hacked to death in the Bangladeshi capital.
- Publisher Ahmed Rahim Tutul was attacked at his home along with writers Ranadipam Basu and Tareq Rahim in a separate incident.
- Both publishers had published work by Bangladeshi-American blogger Avijit Roy, who was murdered earlier in the year in a spate of attacks on secular bloggers.
“Avijit’s publisher Dipan slaughtered” (Dhaka Tribune)
“Avijit Roy’s publisher, 2 bloggers hacked in Dhaka” (Dhaka Tribune)
“Secular publisher hacked to death in Bangladesh” (The Guardian)
(Image Credit: Zakir Hossain Chowdhury/Zuma Press/Corbis, via the Guardian)
Italian man killed in Bangladesh capital
- Cesare Tavella, 50, was killed in Dhaka by unidentified gunmen in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone.
- Tavella worked for a Netherlands-based NGO in the city.
- The death comes at a moment of increased threats from Islamist militants in the country.
Read the full story at Reuters.