NEW DELHI (AP) – Police in Bangladesh say unidentified assailants have stabbed two men to death, including a gay rights activist who also worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Mohammed Iqbal, police officer-in-charge in Dhaka’s Kalabagan area, identified the activist as Xulhaz Mannan and said he previously worked as a protocol officer for a former U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh. He said the other victim of Monday’s attack was a friend of Mannan’s named Tanay Majumder.
Iqbal said Mannan was an editor of Bangladesh’s first gay rights magazine, Roopbaan.
The banned group Ansar-al Islam, the Bangladeshi branch of al-Qaida on the Indian subcontinent, has claimed responsibility for the killings of a gay rights activist and his friend in the capital, Dhaka.
The group said in a Twitter message Tuesday that its members targeted Xulhaz Mannan, the editor of Bangladesh’s only gay rights magazine, Roopbaan, and his friend Tanay Majumder.
The killings occurred two days after unidentified men hacked to death a university professor in a northwestern city.
The attack was similar to recent killings of atheist bloggers by radical Islamists in Muslim-majority Bangladesh.
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