Dhaka: In the second killing of a foreign national in Bangladesh, a Japanese citizen was shot dead within a week of an Italian's death which was claimed by the Islamic State. Both the incidents have raised concerns that more foreigners might be targeted, which prompted Western embassies to curtail diplomats' movements in the south Asian country.
The 65 year old Hoshi Kunio was attacked by unidentified assailants while on a visit to Kownia, in the district of Rangpur, 335 km north of the capital, Dhaka, and died on his way to hospital, police said. “He was shot on his chest and also in his hand and leg,” Rezaul Karim, officer in charge of the local police station, told reporters. Refusing to make any comments on the motives of the attack, he simply said, “We are investigating.”
Attacks on foreigners are rare in Bangladesh, despite a rising tide of Islamist violence over the past year that has seen four online critics of religious militancy hacked to death, among them a US citizen of Bangladeshi origin.
Hasina accuses BNP-Jamaat alliance for murders
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has blamed the opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP)- Jamaat-e-Islami alliance for the murder of two foreigners within a week, saying that the murders were part of a conspiracy to 'tarnish the image' of her government.
Hasina said that the BNP-led alliance was attempting to overshadow the government's achievements through these heinous murders. She vowed to take action and said that the murders as 'clearly planned and politically motivated'.
Earlier, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had claimed responsibility for the murders.
Her comments came as concerned authorities in Bangladesh stepped up the security for foreign diplomats and deployed heavily-armed policemen and officers to guard the diplomatic zone in national capital Dhaka.
Meanwhile, the United States and the European Union have both called on the Bangladesh Government to bring the perpetrators of the crimes to justice.