DHAKA: Suspected Islamist militants stabbed and killed a Hindu priest at a temple in Bangladesh on Sunday, and shot and injured a devotee who went to his aid, police said.

Bangladesh has suffered a wave of militant violence in recent months, including a series of bomb attacks on mosques and Hindu temples.

Some of the attacks have been claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group, which has also said it is behind the killings of a Japanese citizen, an Italian aid worker and a policeman.

In Sunday's attack, five or six motorcycle-borne attackers cut the throat of the priest, Jogeshwar Roy, 55, as he was organising prayers at the Deviganj temple near Panchagar, 494 km north of the capital, Dhaka, police said.

"We suspect that they might be members of the banned Islamist militant group Jamaatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB)," police official Humayun Kabir told Reuters.

JMB could not be reached for comment. No group has so far claimed responsibility.

The motive for the killing was probably to create an unstable situation in the country and ultimately establish a caliphate, Kabir, the deputy director general of police in the area, added.

One devotee who tried to stop the priest's attackers was shot in the leg before the group fled, he said. Police have not yet made any arrests.

The government denies that IS has a presence in the country of 160 million people. Police have blamed earlier attacks on home-grown militants.

Opinion

Editorial

The fall guy
Updated 18 Aug, 2022

The fall guy

Maryam Nawaz’s public distancing from Miftahrecent fuel price hike was quite uncalled for.
Never-ending scourge
18 Aug, 2022

Never-ending scourge

POLIO eradication efforts in the country appear to have suddenly taken a giant leap backwards. A day after...
Frozen Afghan funds
18 Aug, 2022

Frozen Afghan funds

WITH Afghanistan facing a humanitarian catastrophe and economic collapse, the American decision to not release ...
No end to hostility
Updated 17 Aug, 2022

No end to hostility

It is time for all parties to rise above petty tactics and hostilities for political gains and pull country back from brink.
Deadly accidents
17 Aug, 2022

Deadly accidents

TWO horrific accidents on Tuesday, which resulted in high death tolls, illustrate the dangers people face while ...
New banknote
17 Aug, 2022

New banknote

PAKISTAN has a new currency note to mark the diamond jubilee of independence. The 75-rupee banknote, issued by the...