The Islamic State group says it was behind this week's attack on an Italian priest in Bangladesh that critically wounded the man.

A statement posted on a militant website Friday says the priest was shot several times with a gun fitted with a silencer.

Three men on a motorcycle fired shots at 57-year-old Piero Arolari as he was riding his bicycle in the town of Dinajpur on Wednesday. The town is located about 415 kilometers (260 miles) north of the capital, Dhaka.

In its statement, IS accused Arolari of "Christianizing campaigns." The Islamic State radio, al-Bayan, also reported the claim.

IS has claimed responsibility for the two earlier attacks on foreigners in Bangladesh but the government says the extremist Sunni militant group does not have a presence in the country.