Suspect in Bangladesh gay activist’s murder held

Rashidun Nabi was a member of Ansar al-Islam, blamed for some of the recent murders, say police

Updated - December 01, 2016 06:31 pm IST

Published - October 18, 2016 03:29 am IST - DHAKA:

Bangladesh police said on Monday they have arrested the main suspect in the murders of a gay activist and a secular blogger who wrote against radical Islam.

They say Rashidun Nabi is the main suspect in the murder of 26-year-old law student and blogger Nazimuddin Samad and gay activist Xulhaz Mannan, who were brutally hacked to death in April. Bangladesh has seen a spate of gruesome attacks on secular activists and bloggers, many of whom have been hacked to death with machetes.

Ansar al-Islam member

Counter-terrorism officers said they detained Nabi at a bus station in the capital Dhaka, alleging he was the ringleader in Samad’s killing. “Five people including Rashidun Nabi took part in Samad’s killing,” said Monirul Islam, head of Dhaka police’s counter-terrorism unit.

Dhaka police spokesman Masudur Rahman said Nabi was also a suspect in Mannan’s murder, and in an attack on publisher Ahmedur Rashid Tutul.

A police statement said Nabi was a member of Ansar al-Islam, which purports to be the Bangladesh branch of al-Qaeda. Ansar is one of the two home-grown extremist outfits accused in the recent wave of murders, and had claimed responsibility for Samad’s killing. — AFP

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