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Bangladesh missionary hurt in gun attack

An Italian doctor has been wounded in Bangladesh. Daylight shooting victim is the third foreigner to be targeted in recent weeks as country struggles with extremist violence targeting secular voices and foreigners.

Police in the town of Dinajpur said 57-year-old Italian missionary doctor Piero Parolari was attacked by three assailants on a motorcycle as he was riding his bicycle in a northern district about 414 kilometers (260 miles) north of the capital.

Dharani Kanto, an auto rickshaw driver, told the Reuters news agency that he had taken the wounded man to a nearby hospital. "No one was attending to him, so with the help of two other people I rushed him to the hospital," Kanto said.

Doctors said that Parolari - who has lived in Bangladesh for about 35 years - is recovering from a neck wound at the same hospital where he volunteers as a physician treating needy people.

"He is now being treated himself at the Dinajpur Medical College Hospital, where he treats others at this time," an unnamed doctor at the medical facility told the Press Trust of India.

The attackers fled on a motorcycle, and fired shots to frighten off people from pursuing them, police said.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attempted killing.

Foreigners increasingly a target

But the brazen gun attack is just the latest in a series of incidents in which foreigners and secular voices are being targeted by militant extremists. Italian aid worker 50-year-old Cesare Tavella, 50 was shot and killed on September 28.

Five days later, 66-year-old Japanese farmer Hoshi Kunio was killed by unidentified assailants. Both attacks have been claimed by the so-called "Islamic State."

But police and the Bangladesh government have denied Islamic State is active in the country and claimed the attacks were the work of the political opposition trying to destabilize the country.

Bangladesh has been rocked by a series of attacks this including the killings of four secular bloggers claimed by Islamist extremists.

jar/jil (Reuters, PTI, AP)

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