Dhaka: A Bangladeshi law student, who posted comments against radical Islamists on Facebook, was hacked by machete-wielding militants before being shot dead from close range here, the latest in a series of brutal attacks on secular bloggers and activists in the Muslim majority country.
Nazimuddin Samad, 28, a masters student of the state-run Jagannath University's law department, was killed by suspected Islamist militants in Old Dhaka's Sutrapur area last night.
He had been on a hit list of 84 atheist bloggers that a group of radical Islamists prepared and sent to Bangladesh's interior ministry.
Samad was attacked by three assailants on a busy road while walking to his home in Gendaria with another youth after completing classes at the university near Bahadur Shah Park.
While murdering Samad, the killers shouted Allah-o-Akbar (God is Great), witnesses said.
The youth accompanying the victim has been missing since the incident, a police official said. "They initially hacked him and then fired gunshots to confirm his death," he added.
Samad, who hailed from Sylhet, was the information and research secretary of Sylhet district unit of Bangabandhu Jatiya Jubo Parishad. He was also an activist of Gonojagoron Moncho's Sylhet wing.
His friends said Samad used to campaign for secularism on Facebook and was critical of radical Islamists.
A day before the murder, he expressed concerns over the country's law and order in a Facebook post.
Samad was known to have been critical of state religion in the Bangladeshi constitution.
Businessmen in the area closed their shops immediately after hearing the gunshots. Police cordoned off the crime scene. They recovered a bullet shell from the spot.
Nurul Amin, assistant commissioner of Sutrapur division, was quoted as saying that police went to the spot and found the body in a pool of blood.
Nurul said it was clear that the assailants kept an eye on Samad's activities for long.
University Proctor Nur Mohammad said Samad got admitted to the university two months ago.
"We have informed his family about the murder and are taking detailed information about him," he said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, in the past the Islamic State has claimed a series of attacks on secular bloggers in the Sunni-majority Bangladesh.