Dhaka: The Islamic State on Thursday claimed responsibility for shooting and injuring an elderly Italian priest in Bangladesh, a day after the third attack on a foreigner out of five similar assaults owned up by the dreaded group in the country.
Piero Parolari, 57, was shot at from close range by unidentified motorbike-borne assailants yesterday while he was cycling down to a Catholic missionary hospital in northern Dinajpur - some 414 kms north of Dhaka - where he also worked as a doctor.
The priest, who came to Bangladesh 35 years ago, suffered serious injuries in his neck and skull was the second Italian national and the third foreigner to have been targeted by the ISIS in Bangladesh in recent weeks.
"Security detachments of soldiers of the Caliphate in Bangladesh carried out some unique operations (including)... Targeting the Italian Crusader foreigner Piero Parolari," the jihadist monitoring organisation SITE (Search for International Terrorist Entities) quoted ISIS as saying.
The outfit also claimed two operations in Rangpur - an attack on Bahai community leader Ruhul Amin and the murder of politician Rahmat Ali, according to Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence Group, who posted the information on her official twitter handle.
"Piero Parolari is 3rd foreigner to be claimed by ISIS in Bangladesh since September 29, making the country hot spot for such attacks," she said.
Another Italian national, 50-year-old aid worker Cesare Tavella, was shot and killed on September 28. A similar attack just five days later on the outskirts of Rangpur city in which a 66-year-old Japanese farmer, Hoshi Kunio, was also killed by unidentified assailants riding motorbikes was claimed by the Islamic State.
However, both the Bangladesh government and the police had rubbished the ISIS' previous claims, saying the assaults were being carried out by opposition forces that wanted to destabilise the country.
The terror outfit had carried out the Paris carnage in its biggest attack in recent months, killing 129 people.