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IN LESS THAN 2 MONTHS SECOND BLOGGER HACKED TO DEATH IN BANGLADESH

DHAKA - A Bangladeshi blogger was hacked to death in Dhaka on Monday, the second such attack on a critic of religious fundamentalism in the mainly Muslim country in less than two months.

Three knife-wielding attackers set upon 27-year-old Washiqur Rahman near his home on Monday morning, weeks after the murder of an American atheist blogger in Dhaka triggered international outrage.

Police said they had arrested two suspects at the scene and retrieved three knives, but a third escaped. Deputy commissioner Wahidul Islam said Rahman had been "brutally hacked to death".

"They hacked him in his head and neck with big knives and once he fell on the ground they then hacked his body," he said.

Rahman's blog did not appear to focus on religious issues, although fellow writers said he opposed religious fundamentalism.

  • Police said he used a Facebook page under the name Washiqur Babu to post articles written by other writers that appeared to mock fundamentalist Islamic views.
  • Deputy police commissioner Biplob Kumar Sarker told AFP the motive for the killing appeared to be "ideological" differences with fundamentalist groups in Bangladesh.
  • "So far what we've gathered after primary interrogation of the two suspects is that they killed him him because he criticised hardline Islamists," he said.

The two suspects in custody are aged about 20 and are both students of madrassas or Islamic schools, Islam said.

The killing bears strong similarities to the murder of Avijit Roy, an American blogger of Bangladeshi origin who was hacked to death with machetes in Dhaka last month.

His death sparked uproar, with hundreds of secular activists holding protests for days to demand justice.

Source: AFP, Agencies

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