Asia

Bangladesh students protest after blogger hacked to death

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Media captionThe students in Bangladesh are angered by what they see as government inaction

Students in Bangladesh have held protests over alleged government inaction after another secular blogger was killed by suspected Islamists.

Nazimuddin Samad was hacked with machetes on Wednesday in the capital Dhaka and then shot, police said.

Students from the Jagannath University, where Mr Samad studied, blocked roads in and around the university.

They told reporters that police inaction over previous killings had contributed to the death of Mr Samad.

"Talented youths are killed one after another, but there are no visible measures against these heinous acts," Kabir Chowdhury Tanmoy, president of the Online Activist Forum, which advocates secularism, told Reuters news agency.

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Mr Samad, 28, was reported to have been an organiser of the Ganajagran Manch, a secular campaigning group.

A string of prominent secular bloggers have been attacked or killed by religious extremists in Bangladesh in the last year.

Bangladesh is officially secular but critics say the government has failed to properly address the attacks.

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Police said three assailants on a motorcycle attacked Mr Samad and then shot him, The Dhaka Tribune reported. Police have not named any suspects in the case nor confirmed a religious motive.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The student was killed at this site on a traffic intersection in Dhaka

Mr Samad, a student of Jagannath University, regularly wrote against religious extremism on his Facebook page. He had written "I have no religion" on his profile under religious views.

There have been several deadly attacks in Bangladesh in recent months, although it is not clear who is behind them.

Last year, four prominent secular bloggers were killed with machetes, one inside his own home. They all appeared on a list of 84 "atheist bloggers" drawn up by Islamic groups in 2013 and widely circulated.

Image copyright Nazimuddin Samad
Image caption Nazimuddin Samad was a student at Jagannath University

There have also been attacks on members of religious minorities including Shia, Sufi and Ahmadi Muslims, Christians, and Hindus.

Two foreigners, an Italian aid worker and a Japanese man, were also shot dead late last year, in seemingly random attacks.

The so-called Islamic State group has said it carried out many of the attacks - but this has not been independently verified.

Members of another militant Islamist group, the Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), were arrested over an assault on an Italian Catholic priest late last year.

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