Bangladesh has banned a radical Islamist group accused of attacking and killing atheist bloggers and writers.

The Ministry of Home Affairs said Monday that the Ansarullah Bangla Team was banned in response to a request by police because it has threatened and killed bloggers, writers and other activists.

Junior Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said the decision was made under the anti-terrorism law.

A police report said the group follows al-Qaida and has been active in Muslim-majority Bangladesh since 2008.

Since February, three atheist bloggers who criticized radical Islam have been killed, including an American citizen of Bangladesh origin.

The group has recruited students from leading colleges and universities.