Islamic State claims murder of university professor in Bangladesh

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A professor at Rajshahi University in Bangladesh has been brutally murdered by two men carrying machetes, police said on Saturday, following similar attacks on secular bloggers and atheists. The Islamic State (ISIS) group has claimed responsibility.

The city’s police chief, Mohammad Shamsudduin, told reporters that the professor in English, 58-year-old Rezaul Karim Siddique, was murdered by two attackers on a motorcycle. His body was found near his home where he is said to have been waiting for a bus to take him to Rajshahi University.

Four secular bloggers and a publisher have been murdered by Islamist militants in Bangladesh over the last year, but Siddique’s colleagues told local media that he never spoke or wrote about his views on religion. Professor Mohammad Shahidullah, who leads the English department at the university, told the New York Times that Siddique “was a purely academic person.”

Hours after the killing, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack through the Amaq news agency, which is operated by members of ISIS. The agency said Siddique was killed for “calling to atheism”, but his colleagues have said he was not an atheist, though he was involved in cultural activities.

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