South Asia

IS claims anti-Shia blasts in Bangladesh

The Islamic State (IS) terror group has claimed responsibility for three blasts in Dhaka that killed at least one person and injured 87 early Saturday, according to the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group.

The same group had earlier reported that IS was behind the the murders of two foreign nationals in Bangladesh — Italian Cesare Tavella and Japanese Kunio Hoshi. The claim, however, was refuted by the Bangladesh authorities.

According to SITE, the IS claimed that “soldiers of the Caliphate in Bangladesh” detonated explosive devices in Dhaka during “polytheist rituals.”

The blasts occurred at around 1.30 a.m. when members of the Shia community were preparing for a procession at the age-old Husseni Dalan in the old city, half an hour before their traditional Tajia procession.

As the wounded people were rushed to nearby hospitals, additional doctors and nurses were called in to cope with the situation. Sixty of the injured were admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital while others to the Mitford Hospital in the capital city.

The Shia community observes the day annually marking the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. This is the first time such an attack was happened in Bangladesh’s 45 years history.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said the government suspects the attack was premeditated and hoped to catch the culprits through closed-circuit camera footages. He added that the blasts were aimed at destabilising the country.

New travel alerts

Following Saturday’s blasts, the U.K. and Australia have updated travel warnings for their citizens in Bangladesh. “Current advice to keep a low-profile in all public space remains,” the U.K. government told its citizens.

“There is high threat from terrorism. Further attacks may occur.”

The Australian government asked its citizens in Bangladesh to travel only by vehicle for the time being.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 9:21:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/is-claims-antishia-blasts-in-bangladesh/article7801141.ece

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