DHAKA: The Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for a surprise attack on a checkpost in Bangladesh in which a policeman was killed, amid fears of an increase in extremism in the moderate Muslim-majority country.
A group of unknown assailants on motorbikes attacked a checkpost on the outskirts of Dhaka yesterday and hacked to death the constable on duty with sharp weapons, and seriously injured another - the second such attack in less than a month.
In a web post yesterday, monitoring group SITE said it had tracked the terrorist group's post claiming the attack, Bdnews24 online reported today.
If the claims are true, it would be a first for the IS to target an arm of the Bangladesh government.
But authorities have blamed local hardliners, whom the government also suspects were behind a series of murders this year of secular bloggers and a publisher of secular books.
Yesterday's attack came four days after assailants carried out near simultaneous attacks on two publishing houses in Dhaka and hacked to death publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan, critically injured another Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury Tutul along with writer Ranadipam Basu and blogger Tarek Rahim.
Ansar Al Islam, also known as Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), claimed responsibility for the attacks calling themselves as the Bangladeshi branch of al-Qaeda.
Earlier, SITE (Search for International Terrorist Entities) Intelligence Group reported that the IS claimed the murders of two foreigners—Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella and Japanese national Kunio Hoshi - and also the bombings on a Shia gathering in Old Dhaka.
But the government rejected the terrorist group's previous claims, saying it does not have any presence in the country.
On October 22, an assistant sub-inspector was stabbed to death at a Gabtoli gateway to the capital.