Suspected militant arrested over Bangladesh gay activist murders

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Dhaka, May 15 (IANS) A suspected militant was arrested for his involvement in the murder of two Bangladeshi gay activists in April, police said on Sunday.

The suspect, Shariful Islam, was arrested from Kushtia district earlier on Sunday, said Dhaka Metro Police Deputy Commissioner Maruf Hossain Sardar.

Sardar said Shariful Islam belongs to an Islamist militant outfit, bdnews24 reported.

“Shihab is an activist of the Ansarullah Bangla team. They have been hiding in Khulna since the killings,” detective branch deputy commissioner Mashrukur Rahman Khaled said.

On April 25, Xulhaz Mannan, a programme officer with the USAID and editor of a magazine for Bangladesh’s gay and lesbian community, and fellow activist Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy were hacked to death with meat cleavers in a Dhaka apartment by at least six assailants.

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Militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla, which claims to be the Bangladesh affiliate of Al Qaeda, had claimed responsibility for the killings as well as for six other previous killings of bloggers.

The arrest comes after an elderly Buddhist monk was found hacked to death on Saturday in a temple in Bandarban district.



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