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Arrests made over Hindu tailor's murder in Bangladesh

Authorities in Bangladesh have arrested three men suspected of involvement in the killing of a Hindu man. The so-called "Islamic State" had claimed responsibility for the killing as country reels from extremist violence.

Police made arrests Sunday in connection with the murder of 50-year-old tailor Nikhil Chandra Joarder, who was hacked to death last week in the central district of Tangail.

Police said one of the murder suspects was Amnul Islam, a teacher at a religious school who had lodged a criminal complaint against Joarder, a member of Bangladesh's Hindu religious minority.

Joarder had allegedly made derogatory remarks against Islam's Prophet Mohammad in 2012, and was jailed but later released after the complaint was withdrawn.

That's led investigators to theorize that the 50-year-old victim may have been targeted for religious reasons, as the so-called "Islamic State" claimed responsibility for the murder.

A local leader of Bangladesh's largest Islamic opposition party Jamaat-e-Islami has also been detained for questioning by police.

Police carry body bags down stairs of two gay rights activists recently found murdered.

Bangladesh has seen a wave of killings in recent months, especially targeting minorities, secular bloggers, intellectuals and foreigners

Wave of murders by suspected Islamists

Similar attacks by suspected Islamist extremists have occurred in other places in recent weeks. Two gay rights activists were killed at an apartment in Dhaka by suspected Islamist militants.

An English professor was hacked to death near his home in the northern city of Rajshahi on April 23. A number of secularist bloggers have been killed in similar attacks in Bangladesh in recent years.

There have been some arrests but no prosecutions so far, and authorities have struggled to make any headway in naming those planning the attacks.

Nearly all the killings have been claimed by international Islamist extremist groups, including the Islamic State group and various affiliates of al Qaeda. The government, however, has denied that these groups have a presence in Bangladesh, and has blamed the violence on the political opposition.

jar/jr (AFP, dpa, AP)

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