Asia

Two arrested over Bangladesh blogger Niloy Neel killing

Bangladeshi secular activists take part in a protest against the killing of blogger Niloy Chakrabarti, who used the pen-name Niloy Neel, in Dhaka on August 11, 2015 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Niloy Neel's killing sparked an outcry, with Bangladeshi secular activists taking to the streets

Bangladesh police say they have arrested two suspected members of a banned Islamist group over the killing of atheist blogger Niloy Neel.

The two men were suspected members of Ansarullah Bangla Team, a militant group accused of links to previous attacks on bloggers, police said.

Mr Neel was hacked to death by a gang armed with machetes at his home in the capital Dhaka last week.

It was the fourth such killing of a secular blogger this year.

Police say the two men being held are key suspects in Mr Neel's murder.

Mr Neel's attackers had tricked their way into his home by saying they were looking to rent a flat.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mr Neel was hacked to death inside his home

Bangladesh is officially secular but critics say the government is indifferent to attacks on bloggers by Islamist militants.

In May, secular blogger Ananta Bijoy Das was killed by masked men with machetes in Sylhet. He was said to have received death threats from Islamist extremists.

In March, another blogger, Washiqur Rahman, was hacked to death in Dhaka. Blogger Avijit Roy, who courted controversy by championing atheism and also tackling issues such as homosexuality, was killed in Dhaka in February.

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