Will Daesh Claim Stabbing of Italian Doctor in Bangladesh?

Protestors in Dhaka have been demonstrating against the spate of attacks on secularists who have challenged religious militancy in the country. Foreigners too have not been spared attacks that have been claimed by Daesh. REUTERS/Ashikur Rahman

DHAKA, Nov 18 – An Italian doctor working as a missionary was stabbed in the neck during an attack by three assailants in northern Bangladesh on Wednesday and was admitted to hospital, police said, reporting the latest in a series of attacks on foreigners.

The assault on the 60-year-old man, identified as Father Pero, in the Muslim-majority country follows the killing of another Italian and a Japanese citizen in attacks claimed by Daesh at the end of September and early October.

The latest incident took place in Dinajpur district, 414 kilometers (258 miles) north of the capital Dhaka, where Father Pero has been carrying out missionary work and medical services among the poor for the last 10 years.

The victim was stabbed in the back of the neck during the assault and has been shifted to a hospital in Dianjpur town, according to Abdul Khaleque, officer in charge of Dinajpur Sadar police station.

The officer did not give any motive for the attack, but noted that it followed other recent attacks on foreigners.

Bangaldesh has suffered a rising tide of Islamist violence over the past year. Four online critics of religious militancy have been hacked to death, among them a U.S. citizen of Bangladesh origin.

And, on Sept. 28, an Italian aid worker was shot in Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter by three gunmen on a motorcycle. A few days later a Japanese man was also shot.

Daesh also claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Dhaka last month that killed one person and wounded dozens.

The government has rejected the Daesh claims of responsibility for the attacks, and has blamed the rising violence on political opponents.

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