DHAKA, Bangladesh – A Hindu temple worker was hacked to death in southwest Bangladesh early Friday in the latest attack blamed on radical Islamists, police said.
At least three assailants on a motorbike fled the scene after hacking Shyamonando Das with sharp weapons, local police chief Hasan Hafizur Rahman said.
The attack happened in Jhenaidah district, 120 miles southwest of Dhaka, as the victim was plucking flowers for his morning prayers near the temple, Rahman said. The worker died on the spot.
Police had no immediate clues about who was behind the latest killing, but they suspected that Islamist militant groups could be responsible as the pattern of the attack fits previous ones. No group has claimed responsibility.
At least 18 people, including atheist bloggers, foreign aid workers and religious minorities, have been killed in attacks over the last two years. Police launched a crackdown that led to the arrests of some 12,000 people, mostly petty criminals and opposition supporters.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for some of the attacks, but authorities have denied it has a presence in the country.
The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina says homegrown groups are responsible for the killings and want to create chaos in the country.