Dhaka: A Christian businessman was hacked to death in Bangladesh today by machete-wielding men near a church in an attack claimed by the Islamic State, hours after a top anti-terror police officer's wife was shot dead in the Muslim-majority nation that has been witnessing brutal assaults on minorities and secular writers.
Sunil Gomes, 65, was murdered near a church in Banpara village, home to one of the oldest Christian communities in Bangladesh, in northwestern Notore district.
The assailants fled immediately from the scene after killing Gomes. His body was recovered from his grocery shop, police superintendent Shyamal Mukherjee told PTI over phone.
"We are yet to know the details, but our policemen are gathering information about the murder," Mukherjee said.
But hours after the incident, US-based SITE Intelligence Group quoted Islamic State's 'Amaq agency' to report that the terror group claimed responsibility for the murder.
Gomes's murder happened just hours after the wife of Superintendent of Police Babul Aktar, who led drives against militants and drug cartels, was stabbed and shot dead by three bike-borne assailants in front of her minor son in Chittagong.
Mahmuda Aktar, 33, was targeted at around 6:45 AM (local time) while she was on her way to drop her six-year-old son to a nearby bus stop for school, about 275 kilometres from here.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said police suspect that religious extremists were behind her murder.
Kamal, who was in the port city, told reporters that the Islamists likely have killed Babul's wife as he played a key role in the campaign against Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
Babul, posted at the police headquarters in Dhaka, has led several raids on militant hideouts and investigated terror- related cases as the additional deputy commissioner with the Detective Branch in Chittagong.
He played a key role in nabbing top militants and busting their hideouts in the southern coastal district. It was his investigations which led to the busting of a hideout of banned JMB and arrest of its military wing chief Mohamed Javed in October last year.
"Since Babul Aktar was in counter-terrorism, we suspect that militants are behind the murder of his wife," Detective Branch Deputy Commissioner Moktar Ahmed said.